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BREVARD COLLEGE – Spring 2007 Immersion (update #1)
Joe Moerschbaecher, along with Robert Dye and a class of adventurous Brevard College students, are now 5 days in to their 21 day Immersion expedition. The students have spent the last few months designing and preparing for this trip. Between choosing destinations and activities, planning logisitics, amassing food, and exploding backpacks, the students have learned volumes even before setting foot into the wilderness.
Beginning in Dupont State Park, the team set camp to prepare for 2 days of mountain biking among some of the best terrain western North Carolina has to offer. Dry weather and high spirits made these fun days for everyone. Rumor has it that there even was a (now infamous) “crawfish incident” – we’ll leave it up to the group to tell that one.
Leaving Dupont, the group traded their bikes for their backpacks as they packed out for the hills…the Foothills Trail that is. Winding through the foothills of the Blue Ridge escarpment, this trail offers challenging terrain with unparalleled scenery – it’s legendary in the southeast. Faced with intermittent rain, the team is pressing on. Camp tonight comes complete with gorgeous views. I wonder if anyone remembered the chocolates for the pillows??!!
BREVARD COLLEGE – Spring 2007 Immersion
Joe Moerschbaecher, along with Robert Dye and a class of adventurous Brevard College students, are now 7 and a half days in to their 21 day Immersion expedition. Joe checked in last night from camp at Rock Creek Falls where one of the students had just completed his lesson on building camp fires, leaving the group with an awesome fire to gather around. The team continues to trek along the Foothills Trail amidst the beautiful Blue Ridge Escarpment. Having 35 miles under their belts, the group will have another 45 to go before they reach the waters of the Chatooga and pick up their paddles for several days of river travel. Before arriving at the river next Tuesday, the students will be averaging 7 miles a day as the trail winds through the forest and crosses a 200-foot suspension bridge!
Their tired feet will be ready for some much needed rest when the students get to their boats! Everyone seems to be doing well and the weather continues to trade off between rain and sun.
BREVARD COLLEGE – Spring 2007 Immersion
Joe Moerschbaecher, along with Robert Dye and a class of adventurous Brevard College students, are now 15 days in to their 21 day Immersion expedition.
They have completed an 80 mile trek along the Foothills Trail which brought weather ranging in the high 70′s to evenings in the low 20′s. Student have been able to use their backcountry skills to keep warm through the coldest April weather temperatures on record and are thriving in this late winter surge. Today they will trade out their hiking boots for paddles and whitewater canoes and begin their five day canoe section along the wild and scenic Chattooga River. Although some students have had a variety of blister and foot problems morale is high as they begin their travels on this class II and III whitewater gem. (For previous updates, see bottom of page)
BREVARD COLLEGE – Spring 2007 Immersion Update
Having completed the technically complex stretch of the Chattooga River Students will now face their greatest challenge. The river challenge the students technical skills and all of the expedition members made it through in the professional manner that this program tries to create for its students. There were a few flips but proper safety and positioning by other members made these swims inconsequential and provided for real life opportunities to practice those rescue skills talked about and practiced throughout the year. These last three days of the expedition will find the students facing their ultimate mental challenge as the instructors Joe and Robert will leave the students on their own as they face these last 4 days of hiking along the Chattooga Ridge back to Burrel’s Ford.
Here are some thoughts about the trip that have been shared by some of the expedition team. (4/13/07)
“This has been a great opportunity to practice planning an expedition and then carrying it out. We are finding out quickly how good of a job we have done and are dealing with the consequences of our errors. Its been a very unique experience that I am privilidged to take part in.”– Joel Gerolimatos
“Hello to everyone in Nashville and Brevard. This has been an awesome trip, but I am looking forward to being home. Gorges State Park, the Chattooga River, and pretty much the entire trip has been beautiful. I have learned alot and stayed reasonably dry. Talk to you soon.”— Ben Whittle
“My 21 day trip has been a blast of super highs and not so lows. Pushing myself to learn at every chance whilealso testing my comfort levels. I set two goalsfor myself which were learning to cook, and slowing down and opening my zones of awareness. I have really worked hard on these goals, and really seen myselfgrowing as an outdoor leader. Being out here has given me plenty of time to reflect on my future, and what I want to do with my life after Brevard College. Now the next challenge is going back to reality, and I got my fingers crossed.”—Gattis Gatling Tyler