Friday, August 10, 2012

The Rustic, Rugged Joys of Lutherock

A week ago, we'd have been making the drive from Jacksonville, Florida to the high mountains of North Carolina.  My spouse had a meeting at 2:00 at Lutherock, the Lutheran church camp near Newland, NC.  For more on that drive, see today's post on my creativity blog.

I was excited to go along because I've never been to Lutherock.  I've spent a lot of time at Lutheridge, the church camp near Asheville, NC.  Lutherock is very different.  The campers have a much more rustic experience. 

For example, instead of eating in a dining hall, they eat in this structure:

We never made it to the tents, but I imagined they were like the Girl Scout camps I've seen:  permanent platforms with huge, permanent canvas tents, structures that sleep 8-12 children and a counselor.

I might say "Summer Camp," and you might think of arts and crafts or music camp or canoes on a gentle lake.  Campers at Lutherock do much more rugged activities:

We hiked up a steep hill to get to this structure.  There's a different path that leads to a rock climbing experience, but it's been many years since I scrambled hand over ankle to get up a trail.  We decided not to try that one.  Heck, we didn't even do much more on this path than stare up at this Alpine Tower:

I must confess that I spent most of my time rocking on the porch at the retreat center:

The retreat center at Lutherock is much less rustic.  Of course, it's also much newer:

The surrounding environment is much more rural and rustic at Lutherock.  There's not a WalMart for miles.  The Newland grocery store is not a national chain.  The roads to get to Lutherock wind and twist.  At Lutheridge, you drive up I26, take the exit, make 2 right turns and you're there.  It's hard to find a view that doesn't include something humanmade.  Not so, at Lutherock.  Here's the view from the porch:

To be honest, I did spend a lot of time looking at the beautiful flower beds.  But they're planted with native flowers:

And there's the occasional Christmas tree farm off in the distance.  But I prefer to see Christmas trees in their youth to the neon signs of a crasser commercialism.

No comments: