On the Fourth of July we were unable to begin our backpacking trip as planned but proceeded to have an awesome day anyway. We first visited an indoor rock climbing gym. Eddie scrambled up bouldering routes that no one believed he could, impressing us all. We then went to the nighttime screening of “Despicable Me 2” at the local theatre to stay dry during the rain storms hitting the area.
When we awoke the next morning we took down camp and set off to do a pair of day hikes. Alex helped lead us up a winding trail to see the beautiful Triple Falls. They were especially scenic on this day because of the excess water from the rain. We ate lunch at the top of the falls and Gage became the reigning champion at a hacky sack game called “Pelt”. When we got back to our campsite Chef Price and his cook crew made us chicken coconut curry for dinner.
The next day we were finally able to go into the back country for a short but exciting backpacking experience. With everything we needed for the night in our packs, we hiked a challenging four mile route to Shining Rock where we set up tents. Hayden and his cook crew made us Macaroni and Cheese for dinner. After hiking out of the back country the following morning, we drove to the Lost Mine campground.
The next morning, we went whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River. Afterwards, we ate lunch at Fontana Park and played frisbee before driving to our afternoon Canopy Tour. Justin led the way as we zipped across thirteen different ziplining ropes in the forest. Then we went back to our campsite for the evening to eat dinner and roast S’mores over the campfire that Cole helped make.
We woke up early the following morning to drive to Long Creek, South Carolina for our second day of whitewater rafting, this time on the Chattooga River. Brandon and others went swimming many times throughout the day when the river was calm. At the end of our day-long rafting adventure, we drove to Chattooga Belle, a gorgeous Farm with peaches, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries that the farmers let us pick. We had a relaxing evening at the farm and enjoyed spectacular views as we played games before going to bed.
On Wednesday we drove to Tallulah Gorge where we did an amazing day hike to see many more fast-flowing waterfalls. Then we returned to the farm for the rest of the evening to have a “thanksgiving dinner” and enjoy one of the last nights that we will be spending together as a group.
These past two weeks have really flown by and we cannot believe we will be at the airport in just two days.