so here i was at the end of an amazing summer at Ridge Haven. what was i to do? all the other counselors had returned home and/or to school, but i didnt want to go back to chattanooga just yet. dont get me wrong, i love home and my family and i missed everyone and my city, but i just wanted the squeeze as much as i could out of my time away this summer. so, i went on the appalachian trail. this wasnt as spontaneous as i make it sound- i hade been planning on it for several weeks. daddy b, the ministry director at RH, is an AT enthusiast. he lead the trip which included two counselors, meghan and myself, as well as the assistant ministry directors, andrew and laura kate lupton. we did about a 30 mile horseshoe-shaped section of the trail up albert mountain, and ending on the other side of standing indian mountain. we did it in two and a half days. it was a wonderful experience- we saw bears (i didnt... others did) and slept in shelters and had trail names for the log books and all that good stuff. for me, it was an excellent ending to my Ridge Haven experience this summer.
after we got back, i quite literally sat around for the rest of the week. i went into asheville on friday and on a whim called drew belz to see if he wanted to have lunch. he did. we talked for a few hours and i was invited to go camping that night with im and a few other ashevillians, including b.gill and jim-boy harrison. we hiked out into lineville gorge by torchlight- indiana jones style. upon reaching the summit we were to climb and camp on, we dropped out gear and hiked down the ridge to this massive swimming hole complete with natural waterslide and a 30 foot jump. we swam for a while, then hiked back up to our stuff. from there we proceeded to climb a rock outcropping in the middle of the lineville gorge named babel tower. the name fits. its about 400 ft. we hiked/climbed it and slept out under the stars that night. there was a meteor shower. we saw some of it before drifting off. the next morning i woke up and climbed up on a rock to pray and start my day, and when i returned to the camp spot there was one mean looking yellow and black rattler shaking his tail at me. i'd say it was between 3 and 3.5 feet in length and about 4 to 4.5 inches in diameter in its thickest spot. and, on top of that (quite literally) was james harrison sleeping in his hammock about three feet above this sucker. james woke up and yelled at him not to move. i was about 15 feet from the snake, so i bent down slowly and found a stone and hurled it at the rattler. i hit it in the head. he crawled off under a rock and we made little time in packing up and having breakfast elsewhere.this is what i saw when i woke up on top of babel tower. from left to right, the four peaks are sitting bear, hawks bill, table mountain (dead center), and laurel knob
the AT and my babel tower adventure was a perfect way to end my North Carolina summer. now that its over i wish i could go back and redo it all. but, school starts on monday, and im excited about my classes. its good to be home with good friends in my own city and my own bed and with my mom. dad is still in Ghana. he should be home next weekend. anyways, i guess this post brings an end to my summer blogging. the posts will probably be fewer now- just when something memorable or funny or important happens. anyways, thanks everyone for reading. stay classy.