Last Saturday we had the wonderful privilege of hosting Jim Herrig, from the US Forest Service, the man who developed the wildly successful Freshwater Snorkeling Program in the Cherokee National Forest! Jim and his assistant Michela packed all of their equipment up: snorkels, masks and wetsuits, and made a 6 hour trek north to give us a full demonstration of the program.
The Blue Ridge Expedition hike of The Nature Conservancy's Bluff Mountain Nature Preserve was smiled upon by the weather gods as the fog lifted as the hike began and the rain fell as the hike ended. Hikers were treated with peak blooms of mountain laurel at Perkins Rock and the mesic glade and indian paintbrush in the meadow. Numerous red efts shared the trail without a single casualty which was a minor miracle considering there were thirty feet finding their way.