A month without a post tells the tale of the constant adventure that I live in. With both morning and afternoon work placements in full swing, time has begun to race by. I can't keep track of hours, days, weeks or months at all. Rather, I sense time progressing by the increasing attachment growing for each of the kiddos I work with and the easier it gets to help them sound out a hard word, redirect them during chaos at After School, and the better my answer gets to the question, "What's wrong with your hair?".
Signs of settling in are more noticeable, and a regular routine of sorts has emerged. Mornings come to soon, but by the time the first group of kids tumble into the tutoring lab, I'm ready to face the day with a mug of tea. After a morning of tutoring kids in reading, I head to Carol's house for a daily lunch date followed by a blissful hour reading in a hammock before heading to my After School site and spend the afternoon hanging outside with an awesome group of kids, some days working with them in the garden, some days just playing in the woods.
Weekends still are full of volunteering at festivals. It is now Fall Carnival season for the schools, and of course, Americorps volunteers are involved at each one. Sundays, however, are Adventure Days, and remain Good Idea Days as well. Check out the pictures from each of the hikes!
9/25- Deep Gap Trail, Mt. Mitchell State Park with Graham, Marian, Chrissy, Austin, and Luna
An absolutely stunning hike along the ridgeline of the Black Mountains. The trail is 4.5 miles and crosses 4 peaks. We got as far as Mt. Craig (6,647 ft- 2nd highest peak East of the Mississippi!) before we had to turn back b/c of time, but I really want to do an overnight backpack trip on the full trail. Between the peaks, the trail winds through a mixed hardwood and spruce forest. Rocks and trees are covered in green moss and it smells like Christmas trees. Emerging from the forest at the peak reveals the rainbow of trees in full Autumn bloom. Easily my favorite trail.
10/2- Yoga on the Mountain Hike to Hemphill Bald with Emily, Cam, and Nathan
We arrived late and met a group of fellow yogis at the top of Hemphill Bald on the Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley- a 2.5 mi hike through private, protected land. The view was magnificent, especially from downward facing dog, looking up at the sky. After our yoga practice, we hiked back down the mountain and from a distance saw two black bear cubs! After much discussion, we decided it was safe for our large group of 9 to continue, making lots of noise and song to warn Mama Bear of our presence.
10/9- Bradley Falls with Carol and Alyssa. Beautiful 80 ft drop waterfall over black rocks, surrounded by trees vibrant with yellow, red, green, and orange leaves. The trail is flat and roped with roots and the occasional fallen tree, splitting off to smaller trails frequently. One split off is a steep climb down the mountain to the river and bottom of the falls. It requires hands and feet, especially on the climb back up, clambering on a natural "staircase" of roots and boulders. One part requires rapelling down a 20 ft rock face using a rope installed on a tree. We picnicked just beneath the falls on a rock and sang silly songs. I took pictures with the film camera, they'll come later.