This past Saturday, Green River Preserve staff members Kat, Evan, Harrison, Missy, Sandy, and I set out on an adventure to explore the hidden reaches of Maybin Mountain. Expecting it to be a rugged trip, we were trying to find the rock faces pictured above. The hike started out like a typical mentor hike but we soon found ourselves crawling on our knees through thick rhododendron and wrestling with impenetrable thickets of laurel and flame azalea. With no foliage on the deciduous trees, we were able to spot the rock face that we were hunting in the distance. We raced to the base of the cliffs, proudly proclaiming “I can touch it!” to the others after breaking through the last heath branches and feeling the cool dampness of the eminent rock.
Exploring the underside of rock overhangs and scaling slick rock faces for a peek around the corner, we were pushed by curiosity beyond the boundaries to discover more in this remote land. We had to keep exploring even if it meant walking on the branches of cliff-clinging plants to traverse steep and slippery mountain slopes. According to our maps, we were certain that a few campers may have visited the tops of the cliffs we were looking at, but almost nobody in recent history had seen them from below.
It was rugged, exhausting, and absolutely wonderful. At the end of the day, we may have felt tired and sore; but, as you can see by the smiles, we had a joyous adventure.
“Seek the joy of being alive” is a motto for Green River Preserve. We encourage our campers to do so daily as a part of our Woodcraft Laws whether we are hiking to the balds or playing Capture the Flag. Seeking joy is not necessarily about seeking comfort. It’s about the moments when you find yourself feeling full of love for your past experiences and present surroundings.
On Saturday, we would have been more comfortable as spectators watching TV, protected from the drizzling rain and in the comfort of our houses. Instead, we chose an adventure resulting in dirt in our hair, sweat on our backs, and stories to share at the end. We chose adventure and it was joyous!!