Stories from the Trail

Looking at the mountains in the distance








Students return from three days hikes today! Here are some accounts from previous students of their first AMS hiking experiences.

Swimming Holes and Snakes

For my AMS three day hike, I went to Linville Gorge. The first day we ate lunch at a really high, beautiful overlook. Then we began the very steep, two mile climb downhill. We played Telephone all the way down the mountain. I fell and twisted my ankle which made it sore for the rest of the day, but staff wrapped it up to help ease the pain. When we got to our campsite, we went swimming in a beautiful river and had fried burritos for dinner. They were so good!

Swimming holeThe next day was the hardest day. It was also the most adventurous: the path was curvy, we got off course and had to hike between some boulders and we saw a rattlesnake! We stopped for lunch on a rock in the middle of the river. To get to the rock, we had to cross a very narrow bridge with a hand rail only on one side. We reached our campsite in the early midafternoon and headed down to the gorge. There was a small waterfall. We had fun jumping off the rocks and swimming. We ate pesto pasta for dinner and then hiked back up to our campsite.

On the last day, we ate oatmeal for breakfast and spent the rest of the morning back at the swimming hole. After lunch, we hiked out with a great bit of “last day energy!” I liked this trip because there were so many swimming holes and we saw a total of five snakes. In other words, our trip was awesome!

-Lily, 7th Grader

Missing Rhinos

On the first day of our trip, we hiked along the Appalachian trail from Carver’s Gap to the Big Red Barn. It was tough hike. Our packs were heavy, but we still got there pretty fast. The best part was that we got to stay in the barn and didn’t have to set up tarps. There was a fantastic view and we got to spend the rest of the day exploring the hillside.

hiking group on mountainThe next day, a few of us hiked across the valley to a bald where a staff member, Nick, said a rhinoceros farm was located. We did not see any rhinos, but had a great time and didn’t get lost (even though most people said we would). The rest of the group hiked to a shelter a couple of miles down the trail.  The path seemed to go straight up. When we met up with them later, we ate a big lunch. Then we hiked the rest of the way to our campsite.

When we got to the campsite, it started to rain and get foggy to the point where we couldn’t even see our own feet. Then it got dark. I ate a bowl of rehydrated chili and then went to bed. When I woke up around 3:00 a.m., my sleeping bag was soaked. We were in a cloud. Everything was wet. My legs were numb and I was so cold. I woke up a staff member and they helped me warm up and go back to sleep.

I awoke the next morning to Ian, another student, calling me out to see the view. The cloud was gone and you could see mountains all around us. We were going to have granola for breakfast with almond milk which was exciting since powered milk tastes awful. When Kevin got the bear bag down, however, we realized the almond milk had gone bad. We drowned our sorrows in some hot chocolate. Then we packed up to head back to school. The trip to the bus was beautiful. We hiked over three balds with great views on every side.

-Ezra, 7th Grader