The skies were a little darker than usual when we woke up this morning as a soft drizzle fell atop the cabin roofs. Over a breakfast of french toast sticks and bacon, the gentleman of Hemlock Hut 1 shared with me about playing Predator Prey last night. During a spontaneous bout of tag that erupts when a group that is higher up on the food chain spots a group who they can eat, one of the groups spotted a Grand Slaminal. And, it wasn’t just any Grand Slaminal! It was the one that has prevented many sessions from achieving the coveted Grand Slam. These young folks spotted a young baby bear running through the woods!
Yesterday’s hikers saw a total of five venomous snakes in the usual hiding spots at Upper Bald and Long Rock so we are halfway to achieving the Grand Slam. If we spot a deer and turkey, campers will celebrate with a huge ice cream party and be able to purchase a limited edition Grand Slam t-shirt.
An impressive amount of liquid sunshine fell for most of the morning hike and campers came back to lunch this afternoon reporting morning adventures. All groups showed incredible resilience and discovered that hiking in the rain could provide unique opportunities and viewpoints. Campers on the Upper Bald named their group the River Waders because of the amount of water flowing on the rock and trail. Liz’s group snuck down to the Hemlock Field and then tasted a variety of wild edibles including blackberries, sassafras, sweet birch and sourwood. Herbie reported that his campers trekked their way up to Uncles Creek and were persistent and excited about being able to hike in rain. Uncles Falls was HUGE and a little too raging to Polar Bear. There was enough water flowing from the chimney in the first room of the cave that campers, for the first time (as far as we know), we able to Polar Bear inside the cave!
Afternoon activities have mostly taken place in their rainy day locations with fly fishing becoming fly tying, climbing in the Lodge, and arts & crafts and drawing & painting continuing as per usual. Who knew you could have so much fun on a rainy day?
The evening program is the Variety Show and we are looking forward to a short staff performance of the Old Lady and the Grasshopper as well as hula hooping, music, joke-telling, poem-reciting, and witnessing other exciting camper acts and talents.
This week, we have a guest duck who flies in every morning and shares the weather report with us (who is actually a counselor dressed in a yellow raincoat speaking in an incredible duck voice…it quacks us all up!). Whether he reports that there will be rain or shine, campers will certainly discover more wonders of the Preserve in their next three days here.