It’s hard to beat a summertime trip to Sliding Rock. If you haven’t heard of the place, it’s a spot in the Pisgah National Forest where Looking Glass Creek flows over a sloping outcropping of granite. Over eons, as the creek has cascaded over the rock and splashed into a pool below, its surface has been worn (mostly) smooth. Fun seeking humans at some point discovered that a person could sit down at the top of the rock and have the force of the moving water send them accelerating down the rock ending in a splash at the bottom. The ride is 60 feet long!
Tonight we took a big group of Middlers and Seniors to Sliding Rock so that everyone could experience this classic summertime activity here in the mountains of North Carolina. Like last week, we loaded 6 buses and vans, filled them with 6 lifeguards and all their equipment (e.g. rescue tubes and a backboard), 18 counselors and the rest of the seats with campers. We again arrived “after hours” when the area is officially “closed.” This helps avoid the crowds common during the day and allows us to essentially “take over” the place with our own staff and procedures. Plus, when we show up, it’s quite a sight. We end up making a long line of excited girls, clapping and cheering for their friends as they slide two by two.
The sound of this crowd, plus the roar of what is essentially a waterfall, makes being there intensely exciting. There’s also the temperature of the water, which is typical of the mountain streams around here. It’s what some describe as “refreshing” and others as “shockingly cold.” Either way, the water provides an energizing jolt that seems to launch each ride into a scream inducing thrill.
Needless to say, the girls love Sliding Rock! Even the senior girls who have come to camp for years are excited to brave the slide again. It might be a little scary, and it’s definitely kind of chilly, but the overall feeling is not to be missed. One camper said she looks forward to sliding every year. Most of the girls want to slide multiple times, hopping right back in line after swimming out of the pool. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fading light of the evening, we’d slide for hours. But after everyone slid 3 or so times, it was too dark to continue.
But that wasn’t the end of our evening. There was one more stop to make, one that also has become a highlight for just about every girl who attends Rockbrook— a stop at Dolly’s Dairy Bar. The girls literally run from the buses to join the line to select their flavor. Dolly’s has unique combination flavors named after many of the area summer camps. For example there is “Gwynn Valley Vortex,” “High Rocks Arctic Slide,” and “Rockbrook Chocolate Illusion.” There is one flavor, “Chosatonga Cheer,” that has an intense blue color, so intense that it leaves your teeth and lips a distinctly blue tint. It’s fun to eat and apparently delicious too!
This was a night of great camp fun— singing camp songs in the bus, catching the adventure of sliding rock, and enjoying a yummy sweet ice cream treat. And all with loads of laughs and good vibes from dozens of friends. Such genuine exuberance! It can’t be beat.