Awana Boys Overnight at Bent Tree

April 15-16, 2011

There was a forecast of thunderstorms and violent weather, so we had a small group. Rod drove the van up in pouring rain, but Brenda had come up earlier, before the rain, and had a nice supper of chili and hotdogs ready for us when we got there. Johnny and Stan help serve chili and hotdogs to Josh, Will and Logan. Stan is still wet from unloading the van in the downpour. Finally the adults settled down for supper. The boys mostly played pingpong until we all settled down for the night in the pouring rain. Severe weather had been forecast, but there we only had rain all night.

Brenda fixed a breakfast of scrambled eggs, grits, sausage gravy, bacon, biscuits with Johnny's help.

After a day of downpour, we had decided against the hike up Ogtlethorpe because the woods would be so wet. But the rain had stopped and we got out for a short hike. The new leaves on the mountainside were beautiful.

We headed up Chestnut Cove Trail to just see what we could see.

We new spring leaves were almost glowing in the morning sunlight. We made the trek up to Thunderstruck and to the top and bottom of that steep road.

I had gotten a pleasant fragrance of the flowering trees when I had gone out on the deck this morning and had presumed that it was these white-flowering trees shown above left. The only abundant wildflower was the rue anemone, above right. There were some violets and some other white flower, but much less abundant than in the past. We were pleased to see lots of dogwoods in bloom after they had been pretty well wiped out at this altitude several years ago by the dogwood blight.

The boys had a few rounds of ping pong when we got back to the house. We had a relaxed schedule for the morning.

We headed down to the lake and found the foliage to be beautiful there as well.

The stream from the lake was running more strongly than at any time in our recent recollection.

This pickup makes a dramatic splash as it heads through the spillway. The spillway had been closed to traffic after one of the storms in the past couple of weeks, and some cars were turning back from it now.

The top of the falls were giving a powerful roar just below the spillway.

After lunch the boys went across the footbridge so they could investigate the rapids coming down from the lake on the far side.

Finally we went down below the falls and were surprised to see that the flow was totally overrunning the normally placid pool below the falls. This was the most flow over the falls that we had seen in many years.

Logan and Will get a close look at the power of the falls from the ledge beside them.

This is the place at the lower end of the fall pool where we normally walk across. But not today!

Logan heads down the bank of the rapidly flowing stream below the falls.

The boys enjoyed exploring the bank of the stream.

From where they were they could see and hear the violence of the water as it came over the waterfall.

They found a big hanging vine and had a great time swinging on it. You don't have to worry much about entertaining boys.

Josh got in some good swings on the big vine as well.

These guys even have fun running back to the van after the dam picture.

Can you find the two deer?
As a final treat for our trip, we got to see these five deer out in the woods in three locations close to each other. They were just bedded down, chewing their cuds.

Easter Sunday

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