Team leader, Alex, just sent some reflections from the groups last few days. Read on to hear more….
On Wednesday the 20th we had an extremely hot day, but we didn’t let it dissuade us from getting out in the kayaks. After the expeditioners learned how to load the boats onto the trailer, we drove out to Croatan National Forest. Croatan is basically in our backyard, and after a 20 minute drive we found ourselves at a boat landing with no other souls in sight. In the National Forest we paddled on Great Lake, which is the source of Hunter’s Creek, a tributary to the White Oak River. So after having paddled those three places, we got a holistic experience, showing the watershed of a local waterway. When out on the lake we took our time, floating about, going for swims (in the wildly warm water), practicing kayak techniques, and quite simply, just enjoying the solitude that came with the lake. As we paddled between trees on the shoreline, we searched for wildlife and kept our eyes to the sky as we continually search for an Osprey. We enjoyed a nice lunch in our boats and headed back to our basecamp just before dinner. After a large dinner of spaghetti and some tasty garlic bread, the expeditioners learned how to pack their dry bags, load group gear, and distribute rations and gear fairly.
Thursday, we had some pretty powerful weather roll through. Unfortunately, we had to postpone our 3 day trip, as our window of opportunity got hemmed in by thunderstorms. While everyone is a bit bummed out that we won’t be sleeping on the beach of Shackleford Isle tonight, morale went up again as soon as we got to the Historic Town of Beaufort. With weather preventing us from getting on the water, we decided to check out a few things in town. The first stop was the local Maritime Museum, where we learned about the facts behind the infamous pirate Blackbeard. After learning about Blackbeard, the expeditioners had about 45 minutes to wander the museum, during which they were tasked to find 3 new pieces of information that they could share with the rest of the group. After that, the group was given some time to explore the city in small groups, most spent their time getting ice cream, maybe some fudge, and gifts for friends and family. Finally, before we left we all went to a Civil War era cemetery, where the unique architecture and old forest held us all enthralled. The end of the evening came quickly, and after dinner we did a group initiative, followed by an activity that forced the expeditioners to practice saying more with less words. All in all, it was a very thoughtful day, with academic themes mixed with urban exploration!