Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First timers

A few of us from the Georgia Trail Dames group drove up to meet the North Carolina Dames to help with their beginner backpacking trip at Panthertown Valley.  It was the first time I've hiked with this group, though I'm friends with their leader Sweet Pea.  What a totally wonderful bunch of ladies!!!

Some of women were spending the night out in the woods for the first time.  Seeing the experience through their fresh eyes rekindled the child-like wonder of the experience in me.  Everyone was so inquisitive and it made for such a sweet trip.

We began at the Salt Rock trailhead and hiked a total of two miles on a twisting network of trails.  Since most everyone had borrowed gear, packs were quite heavy, but everyone did a great job hiking into camp.  Our wide-open campsite had a large shelter and was close to a water source, making it ideal for a beginner trip.

Hiking down the trail into camp
The "experienced" backpackers helped everyone choose tent sites and set up camp, get water, hang bear rope, and we had a discussion of peeing and pooping in the woods.

Even though it's early September, the night was cold so we warmed up around a campfire.  We forgot to bring marshmallows for the s'mores, so we improvised using what we had in our packs- peanut butter.  Chocolate and peanut butter melted between toasted (or slightly burned) graham crackers over the fire.  Delicious!  I'm never bothering with marshmallows again.

Graham crackers + chocolate + peanut butter goodness
I normally am too exhausted after hiking to stay up late, but that was not the case on this trip!  An advantage of this shorter-mileage trip was that I had enough energy to stay up well past "hiker midnight" (i.e. 9 PM).   The NC Dames taught us how to play the fun game of "Taboo."  You would not believe how much we laughed!  It was cool how we got to teach the NC Dames the basics of backpacking, while they got to teach me new ways to have fun in camp!  The North Carolina Trail Dames sure know how to enjoy themselves and make everyone feel welcome.  I can't wait to join them again soon for another trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment