Venture Patrol Conquers Linville Gorge ITAYG Trek!

Written By: Austin

The Venture Patrol’s latest embarkment was at Linville Gorge in our good ole state of NC…. Hmm? What’s that? Whats the Venture Patrol? Well then, let’s back up a little bit and break this down just a tad: The word “venture” according to Dictionary.com is as follows: “An undertaking involving uncertainty as to the outcome, especially a risky or dangerous one.” In other words: a crazy amount of fun! 😀 Now that we have that established, let me tell you what a venture patrol venture looks like. Picture this.

Imagine walking up the side of mountain… through dense bush and brush, pushing and shoving through leaves and branches. Meanwhile trying to maintain your balance as your feet wobble on top of loose rocks under the weight of your backpack. The 45 degree incline of the mountain-side is putting a burning sensation in your legs but you ignore it and keep going and pushing it to the back of your mind because you know what’s waiting for you at the top; what’s been calling your name every since you were a Tenderfoot scout. You replace the discomfort with all the stories that the older scouts loved to talk about so much, summiting and scaling mountains and seeing spectacular sights. You wonder why they always struggled to find words to describe what they saw. Now your in their shoes, “Whats this all about?” You ask yourself. “Man, this better be good.” You say, half complaining. Suddenly you emerge from the claustrophobic wood, with a few scrapes from the briers that wanted to say high on the way up; and a bruise or two from a tumble off that unstable rock. You stumble out onto a massive rock that stretches for a good few hundred yards. When you catch your breath and look up from your muddy boots, your eyes fall upon something you’ve never seen before. The grandeur of what you are seeing inclines you to ask yourself if your dreaming, but the wonderful breeze that quickly cools, and almost chills, the sweat on your face gives you more than enough proof that this is real.

Mountains…. as far as your eyes dare straining to see and capture in one moment. Blue mountains. Huge mountains. Something is so very mystifying about them, maybe its the colosality of the rocks; or maybe its the fact that you are only six feet away from a cliff that drops a thousand feet; or maybe its the feeling of inexplicable accomplishment; or perhaps its being eye level with a big white cloud but something about this really puts life into prospective for a time and provokes deep thoughts.

This trip was very difficult, including a massive climb up along the trail at a inclination of 75 degrees. Many times the certainty of the direction of the trail was sketchy due to it’s being blocked by fallen trees and being over grown by bushes and briers. The humidity and heat were inevitable and very uncomfortable. However, the pros out weigh the cons by a landslide. The views of the mountains were the best that I have ever seen in my entire life, which made the rough terrain worth it. To combat the heat we pulled off the trail a couple of times to swim in the river.  We crossed over a bridge made of a tree split in half with a hand rail attached. We also waded across that same river our last day on the way out, with our gear on, making for a very interesting exodus.

After all the grandeur sights and trials of this past weekend, I realized what this trip is: humility. Realizing that we are so very small in this giant world.  Come explore it with us, the Venture Patrol, and realize your full potential in God’s creation.

-Austin Garmer-

Here are many more pictures.

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