Friday, July 8, 2011
We have done a lot of hiking at SEI.
Today was no different. In the morning we hiked to a beautiful place in the nearby South Cumberland State Park. Our wonderful and most amazing counselors said it was an easy hike (which I found out later was so that we would not be psyched out before we began… I’m still unsure as to whether this method is really effective.) They said that is was downhill the entire way there. But I was actually surprised by the way it was really just climbing over a mountain so that you miserably hiked up for the first part but then you spent the second half of your trip going on a mostly gentle downhill among some lovely forest.
The cave was fantastic. As soon as you reached the crevice in the rock, the air felt 10 degrees cooler. It was a huge opening in the rock that went back deep into the rock. Most people sat on the large stones scattered throughout the area, went into the cave to test their adventurous side, or decided to dip their feet into the cool water to soothe their aching feet.
Here there must be a clarification. The water was not cold. It was FREEZING. Coming from a place in Florida where there are several springs that remain in the low 70s throughout the year and having swum in several glacial waters, this water felt the coldest of them all. After several minutes of walking in the water your feet would begin to tingle and become uncomfortable. After getting out, it was painful to walk again, even on the sand. Many people had, quite ingeniously, left their water bottles in the icy water so they could have nice, refreshingly cool water to drink on the way back to the vans.
However, few people noticed the rocks under the water. Much of the rock on the bottom appeared to be several large flat rocks that were the most beautiful shade of green. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to look up the kind of rock it was.
All in all we had a fabulous time and the ride back to beautiful Sewanee was very pleasant. In some places on the sides of the roads there are still some wildflowers left and driving through the mountains is always so beautiful.