Friday, June 15, 2012

Adventures at Table Rock

So to give a brief table of contents, some of my recent adventures have been:
1) Rerouting the Hawksbill trail
2) Intern Diversity Training at the Town Office
3) Beginning work!  Featuring preparing backpacks, gear, and food for people to take out on course
4) Exploring the Table Rock Region (featuring Bouldering and Exploring with Pip)

SAWS Trail Building

 After all staff we had a day off, but my supervisor (rightly) thought it would be a good idea for us to go out and learn about trail building.  We worked with SAWS (Southern Applachain Wilderness Stewards) and helped build a trail near our base camp.  One of the reasons we did this was to learn to build trails, but another reason was that we were trying to learn how to do this on our own.  I don’t think we know enough to do what SAWS does alone, but I think NCOBS may use SAWS as a service opportunity for future students.  Below are some pictures of us working

The (Day 1) Group

All 6 feet and 7 inches of Aaron


Table Rock. So good.

Our boss


Our Group
Day 2!  More of the same, so I didn't take many pictures.  I did, however, do some serious tree removal work today, so I took some pictures of those:

I chopped my way through this thing.  It was pretty sweet

Ben going to town on this monster

Jesse givin the tree his effort

The remains.  Sadly you'll have to tilt your head left, as I couldn't figure out a way to rotate the pic.


After working with SAWS, we decided to devote a day to Diversity Training.  We met at the town office and did a few activities that helped us to better understand how to work with Diversity in NCOBS.  The information was interesting, but I honestly didn’t find it particularly helpful.
(Miscellaneous) Our all staff picture.  I really hope a digital version of this goes online at some point...

Talking about words (i.e. privilege, social power, etc...)

A BEAR! This was my first real life bear siting.  Pretty sweet.


After a month of training, it’s finally time to begin WORKING! Crazy right?!  And what was even crazier was the fact I actually enjoyed the work.  It’s one thing to have a monotonous 9-5 job packaging food, but it’s another to know that whatever you do, directly influences someone’s outdoor expedition.  The fact that every backpack I select will become someone’s home base makes the work a lot more rewarding.  Below are some pictures of the backpacks we packed, 

Packed by the pro's (aka 3/4 interns)

I didn’t get a picture of the gear we packed, but I did get a picture of us working in the food hut 

Food hut!

and a MASSIVE supply of Natural Peanut Butter.  It was 35 pounds folks.  And don’t worry, I tasted it for them, it’s safe to eat ;)

Three letters come to mind: Y-U-M

Miscellaneous pic: Bryan picking up a snake.  Sadly I snapped the pic just as he put it down, but it was pretty sweet.


 AND! Then I got two days off! And fortunately for me, a course also started that day, which meant cooked breakfast (usually you just do your own thing in the morning).

You may be thinking: "Are those biscuits as delicious as they look?!" - the answer is YES!

 I was thinking of scouting an epic route that I planned for GORP, but I decided to just explore base camp a bit.  In the morning I went off to the boulder field which hasn’t really been used much,

Heading off to the boulder field.  Decided to bring my ipod as I was going solo.  Gave me something to listen to.

My route!  I created a V3ish and a V2ish, then combined them.  Should make the final route around a V3/4.
Either way it was a ton of fun!

I then went off with a fellow Instructor Buddy and we went off to explore Table Rock.  We started off by going to very scenic Chimneys, 

Pip heading up to the Table Rock sign

Love it

and then headed back North to explore some campsites.  We also passed a Unity Crew (Unicorn Crew to be exact, yes, they had one), and took some group shots for them so everyone could be in the picture.  We also packed out some trash some previous non-LNT’ers had left in their campsite.  We then headed up to two more campsites, and then headed back to base.

The trail

HUGE Shroom!

This rope ladder actually led up to a campsite
And that was it!  We got back to base, had dinner, and then I just hung out.

And that brings me to today!  If you're wondering what I did today, I could give you a hint: look at the date of the last couple of blog posts.  Yep.  I've been on my computer almost all day.  I really needed a rest day, so that's what today has been.

ANDDD tomorrow I go back to work, and I believe I’ll be starting pre-course for my first NCOBS course!  That is, the one I will be logistically (kind of) in charge of.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Next up, two posts are coming.  The first is about the fundamentals of my Thru Hike, and the one after that is going to be about the first part of the trail, GEORGIA!


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