Blue Ridge

“Enumerating Early Hikes and Exciting Hellbenders”


Early morning sunrise on the grassy summit of Black Balsam Knob with views of mountains in all directions.


Wild hellbenders we discovered under rocks in the Davidson River with Ben, a biologist with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, one of which we were able to capture, measure, PIT tag and release.


The amount of overlooks along this high elevation stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway we stopped at to take in the majestic views.


The time we had to wake up so we could hike the Art Loeb trail to our sunrise viewing location.


The number of layers we SHOULD have worn to go snorkeling in the Davidson River. (The two or three most of us were wearing weren’t quite sufficient to keep us warm in the chilly water.)


The number of petals and stamens on the orange-colored, native Turks-cap Lilies, which we studied in the early morning light.


The number of folks who shared sketches made during our plant time machine activity, where we looked at how a flower developed from a bud to blossom to fruit.


The number of different groups of pollinators that visited the flowers of one bush honeysuckle plant during about 15 minutes of observation.


The number of teachers becoming students and learning in the mountains of western North Carolina.


The time we will crawl into our sleeping bags and tents after a very eventful and busy day.


The number of loud exclamations of joy when we remembered we get to sleep in comfy beds in our yurts tomorrow night (one of us claims that she is still loving tent sleeping, but we think she will be more than happy for her yurt bed once we’re there)!


The number of smiling faces as we sat in a circle this evening to share about a day full of adventure and learning.

For pictures of our adventures check out @ncmnsteachered on Instagram