It feels like I’m behind on my Appalachian Trail Conservancy 2013 Biennial Conference blog. And I am.
Starting Monday, the number of excursions really picked up. I had scheduled a few excursions on Saturday and Sunday but I figured that most people would want to to to workshops since they weren’t on all week. By Monday, there were no more workshops during the day, so many people went on excursions.
Rafting, Cowee historic district, horseback riding, mountain biking and visiting the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site. And they started at different times of the day, not just first thing in the morning. Here are two pics from the Carl Sandburg that I got from Cindy S., shown with goats on the right.
So I spent most of the day going from the main part of campus to the departure area. In addition, once the exhibitors left, the registration and excursion desks had moved to a smaller room in a different building, so all my material had to be moved.
In the evening, the volunteer reception was full on. I was expecting peanuts and beer but there was real food; not enough for dinner but substantial food.
I was one of the entertainment for the evening, talking about the Mountains-to-Sea Trail across North Carolina. Since this audience was mostly from out of state, I had to tailor my talk differently and explain some North Carolina geography and mores. But I brought it back to Cullowhee, where we are.
In the eastern part of the state, you see the Cullowhee lily, a white six-petal flower, which is on my book cover. It seems that the Cherokee brought it to the east while it disappeared from the mountains.
Now, there’s been a local effort to bring back the Cullowhee lily back to Cullowhee. On the Western Carolina University campus, a small piece of land has been set aside as a memorial for the flower and an affirmation that it will come back. See the picture above. And eventually, we’ll see the lily here as well.