Mountain Classroom Update
Proctor's Mountain Classroom program
, begun in 1972, has remained one of Proctor's most popular (and life-changing) off-campus programs over the past four decades. This winter's group navigated some turbulent times early in the term as the group shrunk from its original ten students to four students due to various complications.
Now nearly two weeks into their cross country adventure, Amelia, Warren, Charlotte, and Klare, along with instructors Chris and Crescent, have settled into a nice routine, having just emerged from a seven day trip on the Rio Grande in west Texas. Amelia updated the community regarding the group's recent travels and upcoming plans. The following text (written by Amelia) and images (compliments of Chris Farrell and the rest of the group) illuminate just how spectacular the Mountain Classroom experience can be. Many thanks to Amelia and the Mountain Classroom crew for sharing their experiences with all of us back on campus! The fearsome foursome are at it again alongside Chris and Crescent, En route to see what the desert has to teach us. We flew into Atlanta, Georgia, met by our fearless leaders, beloved mini-bus number 11, and sunny skies. We spent two nights along the Chattahoochee River in a building in Jones Creek, GA. Here we became further oriented with systems used on the road, familiarized with our tents, and eased back into the comfort and flow of what it means to be a part of Mountain Classroom. We woke to the sounds of nearby birdsongs, and slept under a waxing gibbous moon that lit the surrounding forest composed of mainly Red Pines and a serene rolling river, anticipating our days to come. You might notice a large wooden staff in most of our group pictures. This was passed on to us for the next two months by Mike Henriques before we left Bluewater Farm as a token of perseverance and a symbol of guidance for our adventures ahead. The staff was made from wood in our own Proctor Wood lot, picked out by Mike and Dave Pilla. As our thank you, we decided to take a picture with the Staff in every state we go through, which is stated on the Group Contract signed by the four of us, Chris, and Crescent.
Our last morning in Georgia was spent helping out our new friends Dave, Chris, and Angela at Island Ford in the Chattahoochee River National Recreational. Due to erosion, a new portion of a trail needed to be put in place that had less of an angle to sustain its quality. Using tools such as the mccloud, loppers, and a pulaksi, we crafted the beginnings of a nice sturdy trail. After lending a hand, we said our good-byes, gave them a few M.C. stickers, snapped a few pictures, and headed for the highway.
After a day of driving, we rolled into Montgomery, Alabama. Stopping at a small farm stand along the way, we picked up a few fresh Alabamian tomatoes for dinner that night. Our Chaco’s began to make their way to the top of our bags, as the sun began to shine stronger, and we even had some Mosquito friends join us for the night...(I thought I said goodbye to them in August!)
After an efficient morning, we were back on the road for another full day of driving. We crossed borders like no other, streaming through the rest of Alabama, Mississippi, and then on to Louisiana where we rested for the night. The small town of Moss Bluff treated us well, then onward we went the following morning to the beginnings of our time in Texas.
After a stop at the well-known Buc-ee’s gas station/Texas gift store, we headed for Kerrville with many new “don’t mess with texas” trinkets and postcards (Moms and Dads, expect them soon!). We were welcomed by the Guadalupe River RV Resort, where we stayed for two nights due to an unexpected winter weather watch over Terlingua. Our cabins were a bit bigger than expected and there was even a pool and hot tub. Here we met some local Texans and interviewed them about agriculture, music preference, local issues, and popular occupations. After two mellow days of pouring rain and settling in, excitement of our trip down the Rio by canoe crept up on us, then off we drove into the sunrise on Route 10 West to Terlingua.
We are sending our desert spirits back east and are so excited to continue writing for you all, sharing stories and newly acquired knowledge along the way. We told the snow to re-route itself to where is belongs (home), and hope the true winter weather comes soon! Embrace it, as I will embrace my unexpected mosquito bites and we will all put on extra sunblock down the Rio just for you!
Four Winds, Amelia (and the Mountain Classroom crew)
Be sure to keep visiting the Mountain Classroom homepage (link in main text) for numerous updates throughout the term and to "Like" the Mountain Classroom page on Facebook!
Chris, as his mug suggests, is the 'dad' on this term's adventure westward.
Although the group is small, the experiences this term will not be.
Many thanks to Chris, Crescent, Amilia, Warren, Charlotte, and Klare for sharing this update with us!