Chattooga – Part 10

1 12 2006

…continued from Thursday, November 16.

The first campsite offered a strange encounter: Adventure Scouts, the co-ed version of the Boy Scouts. The co-ed crew was anything but mixed gender, consisting of 5 girls under 18 and a forty-something woman scout leader. Disheveled hair and grungy clothes marked the woman, who had obviously seen her share of the outdoors.

The first sight of the camp revealed three small tents, a more than adequate fire pit, between-the-trees clotheslines, a large pile of firewood and the aforementioned group. Appropriately located nearest the “bath house”, the oversized campsite was anything but shabby. Everything was placed neatly but efficiently. Nothing was unnecessarily unpacked and everyone shared what was used. It could be called a perfect model for a recreational pleasure-seeker.

The six companions – a later conversation disclosed – had been hiking for five weeks already and had two more weeks to go before the summer expedition was complete. The girls had driven from the unexciting terrain of Florida up to the lower end of Appalachia. Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina trails had previously been navigated and South Carolina was the last destination of their journey. Oconee State Park for the Fourth would be their final stop before packing up and heading home.

A light conversation turned into an hour of spent time. After the standard topics of discussion were covered, dialogue ranged from life dreams and aspirations to random hiking adventures. The majority of the conversation was one-sided, coming mostly from the woman. A short while later, following goodbyes and a declined offer for dinner cooked by the girls, eyes turned south and on toward Big Bend.

Check back soon for the next installment…




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