1981 -- Summer
Went to camp in Tennessee/North Carolina--Camp Nolichucky (link
to the current outfitter Mountain
Adventure Guides: Nolichucky River Rafting - Summer
which appears to be indentical to the one I attended
but with new owner and name)
Uncle and Aunt drove me up to her parent's place
a few weeks with my Aunt's family in Tennessee
how to drive a pickup through tobacco fields
some people really do bury their money in the ground
for safe keeping
several weeks were at Camp Nolichucky (a river rafting
and canoeing company)
were a total of three campers: two boys and one girl.
hiking/camping counselor was one of the most amazing
women I've ever known
did a six-day hike in the Cherokee
National Forest along the Appalachian Trail
ended at Bald Mountain
before arriving a huge storm came upon us, and the
counselor and I were knocked backwards by a lightening
strike to a large tree that was near the two of us.
We were okay, but it was amazing and terrifying at
the same time. One of the last things I remember
about the counselor was bathing with her in the Nolichucky
River after we had returned from that outing, but
to be fair to her and my memory the things we did
on the hike where much more impressionable to my
development. She taught patience, encouragement,
observation, perseverance, cooking, physical preparation,
conversation, and teamwork, and many other traits
that make a good person
whitewater canoe trip
canoes, four people, and a lot of supplies, mixed
day out my boat mate and I were not working well
together and as we navigated a huge rapid our canoe
flipped; the counselor was not happy, actually he
was very pissed. These two canoes carried all our
food, clothing, and campsite supplies. He was a little
canoeing is not like regular canoeing with the main
difference being the canoe itself; the point is they
behave differently than regular canoes and some people
have a difficult time understanding that difference.
One of our stops was the birthplace
of Davy Crockett.
The cabin is on the banks of the Nolichucky
I was not terrible impressed at the time--a shack
near a river, and a small shack at that, but the
beauty of the entire picture did sink after I returned
to Florida: a home on a beautiful river.
last day of the trip was spent leisurely canoeing
over the wide expanse of river/lake/sandbars created
by the TVA dam, Nolichucky
Dam. We explored the TVA
museum, which is a hands-on type museum; I was able
to peddle a flywheel attached to a generator used
to make electricity. I fell in love with the idea
of alternative energy sources.
did a two-day rock climbing and repelling, and caving.
had to repel to the cave entrance, but we exited
at another location. Spent the night in a cave.
did a day trip down to Georgia to whitewater canoe
those freezing waters. I had to keep repeating the
final rapid until I made it through correctly. Just
wasn't my day.
the camp's main function was that of an outfitter
and day-trip whitewater rafting, we did that a few
didn't have much money, but I had planned ahead.
Before leaving Vero Beach, I had made some extra
money cleaning my Uncle and Aunt's home, and my Uncle
said I could have all his old Playboy magazines.
They dated back to the sixties. I had five paper
grocery bags filled. I took out all the centerfolds
and took them with me to Tennessee. At camp I sold
them all for about $40. With the extra funds I bought
a knife, a really nice underwater flashlight, and
a black tee shirt. My Greyhound bus trip back home
from Tennessee to Florida was long, very long, and
I was very frugal with my remaining cash.
I got back home one of the first things I noticed
was the missing paper grocery bags I had left on
my top bunk. My mom had tossed them, but I still
have the underwater flashlight.
First week back from Camp --
friend (and his mom) from Gainesville is down for
a week. The very first thing we set out to do as
the sun is setting is head for my mom's car to listen
to the radio. It's a Toyota Corolla Wagon and my
mom had recently upgraded the radio to a stereo system
and added four Alpine speakers. While we're sitting
there, my friend comes up with the idea that one
of use would push the car while the other steers.
My mom stated that we were not to start the car.
So I was first to push. First I had to push from
the front to back the car out of the main parking
area of our drive. The driveway was sand, and it
ran a long way winding through our property. After
the car was positioned to go forward down the drive,
we switched positions, but after several feet we
swapped and I moved to the back to push. The Corolla
was not a very heavy car, and the sand driveway was
firmly packed in most places. As we advanced past
the first turn around a stand of palmettos and pine
trees, my parents and friend's mom were talking back
by the house, and as we pasted them casually told
us not to do anything stupid.
my friend still at the wheel, probably because I
was willing to push and found it to be just as fun
as driving, turned left off the main drive onto the
alternate grassed covered path that larger trucks
used when the came out to the house. We kept going
and crossed the property line into a field of thick
tall grass. Then my friend turned and the car nosed
dived into a small lake that, of course, we could
not see because it was dark outside.
folks must have immediately known something was wrong
when they saw use walking back. But as luck would
have it, my Uncle just then appeared coming down
the drive. Everyone walked over to the call. My mom
was pissed. You can imagine the sentences and gestures
being directed at two irresponsible teenagers. My
Uncle was cool; he backed his van up to the car and
pulled out a chain and attached it to the trailer
hitch on the Corolla and pulled the car free from
the lake. No damage. Later my friend and I had it
out about who was at fault for putting the car in
the lake. He said I should have known about the lake
and warned him, and I said he was driving and I was
pushing from the back and couldn't see anything.
The Corolla stayed in the family for an additional
Boston for more surgery
Started 9th Grade
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