One of the greatest things about the mountain weather we enjoy around here is how it cools off so dramatically at night. You can almost predict a night’s low temperature by subtracting 20-25 degrees from the day’s high temp. So today for example, it was 55 degrees this morning when we woke up. That’s down right chilly! …and the perfect conditions for an RBC fleece or sweatshirt. Once the sun pops up over the mountain around 10am, it begins to warm up quickly and girls begin to shed layers. But even when the temps creep into the 80s (and apparently into the upper 90s later this week!), there are plenty of shady places to stay cool at Rockbrook, like the big red rocking chairs on the Lodges and Dining Hall porches. The two creeks rushing through camp also provide a natural cooling effect as they carry cold water down from the mountain above. And of course, with two chances to dive in the lake each day, making a plan to meet your friends for a quick dip is easy. How about a trip down the waterslide?
After breakfast, Clyde Carter our adventure director, who by the way is famous in the field of Experiential Education, along with counselors Emily, Molly and Claudia, guided 10 girls down the French Broad River in canoes. This river, which flows towards Asheville and eventually into the Mississippi, adjoins the Rockbrook Camp property for more than a mile, making it amazingly easy to launch a boating trip. The whole crew put in at Rockbrook and took out about 8 miles downstream, closer to Brevard. They loved the gentle paddling, and stopping for a quick snack and swim. The crew was a little late getting back to camp for lunch, but Rick fixed them up with quesadillas, salsa, homemade guacamole, salads and chips.
For “cabin day” this afternoon- a special afternoon when cabin groups do something together instead of the regular individual activity rotation- we had groups of girls scattering in all directions. There were hikes up the mountain to Castle Rock looking for that grand view of the French Broad River valley, and just the opposite, other cabin groups hiking down to Dunn’s Creek to splash and play in the pools. One cabin of Juniors, led by superstar counselor Nell, decided to dress up for a tea party and reading of Where the Wild Things Are. Others played games in the gym, decorated t-shirts, or just relaxed talking and making friendship bracelets on the back porch of Curosty.
The big cabin day event though was a fantastic trip for all of the Seniors and their counselors into the Pisgah Forest for a picnic dinner and a ride down Sliding Rock. This ended up being more than 100 people, so it was quite a sight to see… 6 buses and three cars stuffed to the max with campers, counselors, food, and a flood of colorful towels. As we all finished our dinner, which included some excellent corn on the cob Rick sent along, the girls were particularly enthusiastic when we announced it was time to get wet.
Sliding Rock is a gently sloping slab of granite worn smooth by centuries of Looking Glass creek pouring over it. With an 8-foot-deep pool of water at the bottom, it happens to make an excellent waterslide, one that is even more “refreshing” than the Rockbrook lake’s temperature. These three photos provide a sense of it (click them to see a bigger version), but you have to also imagine the screams, the involuntary, full-throated shrieks that seem to almost linger in the air. It’s all great fun, no matter how many times you’ve gone down past summers. With our fill of sliding and as the sun began to set, our last stop of the evening was at Dolly’s Dairy Bar, everyone’s favorite ice cream stand. Soon we all had a cup or cone of our favorite flavor to top off the evening, the perfect finish of a great time together.