This part of North Carolina is home to the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River. These are the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Southern Appalachian range and include the Great Smoky mountains. While Rockbrook is located along the eastern slope bordering the French Broad River Valley at an elevation of 2,600 feet, the highest peak in North Carolina is Mount Mitchell which stands at 6,686 feet. New Hampshire and Maine also claim tall peaks— Mount Washington (6,288 ft) and Mount Katahdin (6,268 ft) — but NC claims the number one spot. Among the highest peaks in North Carolina are two that are a short drive from Rockbrook: Black Balsam Knob (6,201 ft) and Tennent Mountain (6,056 ft). And for a group of Rockbrook girls, these peaks were a hiking destination today. At this elevation, the experience is one of looking out, and down at the hills and valleys below. At the same time, the sky feels very close because clouds are all around, above, below and right beside you. It’s a strangely stark, other worldly, almost numinous experience. Being there is literally so awe-some, the girls were (almost) left speechless! You can see that today the weather was rather unsettled with bands of clouds and even rain in the valleys blowing by, making the whole hike even more dynamic and dramatic. Very cool!
Meanwhile back at camp, where it was surprisingly wetter with a slight drizzle falling, all of the regular craft activities were bustling. All those colorful projects! Tying and dying. Twisting and pulling. Painting and marking. Gluing and sewing. Weaving and hooking. Here is a photo of the girls making Jewelry on the Hillside Lodge porch. This is a wonderful setting with red rocking chairs and a big broad table to spread out on. The girls have now progressed to even more complex friendship bracelet patterns— double chevron, arrowhead, heart, basket weave, and diamond, for example. With so many friends at camp, and family members at home who will enjoy a camp-made gift, there’s always a good reason to make another friendship bracelet. Take a look at the image on the our camp videos page to see how they can stack up!
The last few days at camp seem to have exploded with color for both the camp flower beds and the forest itself are blooming beautifully. It doesn’t hurt that we’ve been having regular light showers and periods of sun for the last couple of days. In the forest, there are exquisite clusters of tall and broad ferns, tall pink Ladyslippers, and Painted Trilliums surprising us along the trails in camp with spots of color and pattern. The flower beds at camp— along the dining hall, in front of the Junior Lodge, the canoe planter by the lake—and all the planters around camp are even more full. This photo is just a sample of the amazing work Pam our gardener has done, and continues to do, to keep Rockbrook’s setting so lovely and blooming. I hope you have time to wander around when you arrive to pick up your daughter in a few days.