I’m having trouble writing, if at all eloquently, about my experiences lately but I thought I’d briefly describe this weekend.
This weekend was a whirlwind trip up to northern Georgia that included gourmet camping food, hours of puzzle work and introductions to many new friends (including one magic pen). Without classes on Fridays and a classless Monday and Tuesday thanks to fall break, I took off midday for Rabun Gap and Sam’s cabin in the woods. It was a pleasant surprise to head north to a cabin and for once end up in a home. It includes all the amenities of the rentals and is rather spacious but is more welcoming and has much more personality than cookie cutter rentals. The walls are decorated with art from around the world and are not the generic ‘mountain’ motif that I’ve come to expect from north Georgia cabins. It was also nice to spend some time working on a jigsaw puzzle (an memorable family habit of mine).
We stayed up late and started to pack and plan for our hike and camp the next day. Everyone played a part in making it a great camping trip. Hats off to Rupesh for finding the spot and the route. Eight of us set off to Standing Indian Campground in North Carolina and started on a 6 mile hike into our site somewhere on the Appalachian Trail and atop a mountain. Marcus prepared a lot of food, including a delicious salmon risotto and a wonderful herbed egg biscuit with brie. Rishi carried a two liter of ginger ale all the way to the top. Sam got us all together and managed macaroni and cheese without milk or butter. Nick and Audrey somehow strapped a tent onto a pack and remembered chlorine tablets.
Julia impressed me the most when she revealed her magic water sterilizing pen and produced clean water for us all. The product is called Steripen and it produces UV light that kills bacteria and other organisms in water that you can collect from streams. Lauren says it’s a SkyMall type of thing, but I would very seriously consider purchasing this. We’re in the middle of a drought here and water wasn’t flowing as it normally does which gave Rupe’s pump a few problems but Steripen produced liter after liter of clean water without trouble. It worked for her in Ethiopia and it worked again in North Carolina.
In any event, our loop was completed by another six mile hike back to the parking lot. Where an ice cold Tilt awaited us. It was a beautiful weekend. Good times, good weather, the leaves starting to turn, and good people. Mali even made it along for her second ever camping trip and managed to scare the crap out of several outsiders as well as several members of our group. Enjoy the photos and next time, Lauren, you have to come along.