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2017 Camp Blog

Day 1: Arriving

group shot

The first day of travel usually begins out of our purview: the campers rendezvous with the On River Time team at their final destination. This year, we were able to connect sooner, placing two of our junior board members, Martha Lee Hawkins and Brian Downing, on the flight out of Birmingham with the kids around 8:00 a.m. They reported that 5 of the 8 campers had never been on a plane at all, and most had not left the state of Alabama. Now the end of the evening, we now attribute the group’s apparent shyness to some apprehension about flying (noise levels are rising). One young man had some comical trouble exiting the Detroit airport’s moving sidewalk. He made two full rounds on it, while waving sheepishly at the rest of group as he passed. The turbulence out of Detroit rattled everyone a bit. …

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Day 2: Fishing

first catch

We have just come off the water here at 4:30 p.m. The story is the same from all boats—challenging water and some hard-fought catches. Without our expert guides and attentive campers, it could have been a historically low day of catches (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). Here is what our guides explained to us on the way to our launches. …

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Day 3: Olympics

casting Olympics

Most campers polled appreciated the late breakfast this morning. Some of us were sore from casting, balancing, mending . . . and dodging airborne hooks. After breakfast we convened for the second year of a new activity: The Fly Fishing Olympics. These games, part of actual guide training programs, were passed to us from the Lodge: distance casting, casting accuracy, identifying bugs that flies represent, throwing a safety rope accurately, and putting together a rod and reel for time. We broke into two large teams led by the peer mentors, the “Go Getters” and the “Moose on the Loose” (aka “Meece on the Leece”). One camper actually put together a rod in under a minute. …

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Day 4: More Fishing

scenic view with eagle

It was another beautiful day, and with less wind than our first fishing day. We were lucky just to be out on the water, though—the cubic feet per second flow is 20,000 today. Without our expert guides paddling, it would be a dangerous and fish-less day. The consensus here at 4:30 pm is that most boats had a slightly tougher time catching fish than on day 1. One group saw a moose swim across the swollen, frigid river. The boat I was on caught a glimpse of a spring running into the main river; we could see through it like glass compared to the mud-chummed snow runoff we were casting in. No matter how hot or difficult, over half the kids always want to go back out and try one more stretch to win the contest or just to feel the thrill of setting the hook. …

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Day 5: Tetons

group shot at Teton

At 7:30 am we grabbed our breakfast sandwiches and loaded aboard a bus that took us to Jackson, WY. In past years we have taken a whirlwhind tour of Yellowstone Nat’l Park. This year, we opted for the closer Tetons and the advantages of smaller crowds and access to experts. …

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Day 6: Rafting

fireside

The gang just got back from a rafting adventure in Jackson. Apparently the experience became hands on when the guide missed the dock and asked some of the boys to jump out to manually stop the craft. Shayde from the Lodge guide shop is currently showing an eager camper how to use the fly tying kit he bought with some of his award credit. …

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3 Office Park Circle, Suite 240, Birmingham, AL 35223  |  205.382.4568