Tuesday, June 12

Banner Elk Post #3

I have been very much looking forward to the post about Thursday, and soon you'll see why!
On Thursday, Uncle Paul and Aunt Rebecca were the evil geniuses behind the Bunke Breakfast Bash (just came up with that name off the top of my head!). So they spent the morning making HUGE platters of Swedish pancakes, sausage, eggs, bacon, fruit, and all sorts of delectable breakfast munchies!
But making all that delicious food for thirty-nine people took quite a long time. And the delicious smells taunting us before chow time were just too much. 
Mom did a scavenger hunt with the little kids, which was definitely a learning experience. For example, we learned that pine straw and acorns are nowhere near as common in Banner Elk as they are in Pensacola!
Anyways, Betsy, Hannah, and Mary were the top 3, so they each got to pick a prize.
Betsy's prize was passed around to some and enjoyed by all.
Let's just say that we were all starting to get a bit...antsy.
 John David spent a good deal of his time in the lodge running around with his lightsaber, humming Star Wars songs to himself and looking very intense and awfully cute! He wanted to pose for a picture, so he stuck his plastic lightsaber right in my camera lens, and what happened was pretty cool! The flash lit up the end of the lightsaber so it looked like it was actually glowing! JD was pretty happy with that!
 We older cousins got a kick out of this, he was just so cute! He looked dead serious so we almost felt like we shouldn't be laughing, but we really couldn't help it!
 Here we are, sitting around doing nothing. We couldn't bear it any longer, so me and some of my cousins decided to hightail it up to the obstacle course!
Not everything that we did really built teamwork the way that we chose to do it, but it definitely was fun! And boredom busting, which was even better!
 I think it was just as much fun to watch the boys swinging as it was for them to swing! Some of them did a sort of Tarzan yell thing, and I think that all of them were pretty scared. It definitely would be an adrenaline rush!
 After all, going up that high with nothing between you and a hard landing on the ground but your monster grip on a rope is nothing if not a bit worrisome.
 Still, everyone made it away from that one safely!
This one is called the Whale Watch...I shouldn't think that's funny, but thanks to PJ and Jacob and their twisted sense of humor, it brings an ashamed chuckle to my lips. I'm pretty sure that they balanced it for like forty seconds. The next day I went with Audrey and  Brooke and got it balanced for a minute and five seconds and could have gone longer but I got bored. :P
 After that, we checked out the ten foot wall. That's actually what they called this obstacle officially. There's a sign that says "10' Wall". No points for creativity, but for other stuff like teamwork and exercise, POINTS!!!!
Jacob, David, and Jeremy working to get Geoff up there. Let's say that maybe we used different tactics to get Jeremy up there, also known as the stairs.

 The vertical Spider Web. The point is to get from one side to the other without touching the wires and ringing the bells. This one was interesting for sure! :)
After the obstacle course, we were going to go home the normal way, down a fairly boring trail through the woods, past the fire pit, down a gravel road. But David had the brilliant idea to cut through the Christmas tree farm, which I then discovered was right next to the obstacle course! (Like seriously RIGHT next to, there was a gate right there and directly outside was the farm!) I'm not sure if it was legal to cut through there, but we didn't get caught, so it's okay!
 This part was really easy, but it definitely didn't make one feel graceful because there were all kinds of ups and downs in the path so you were jerking around a lot.
 I thought that it would be a really simple trail and that we would just follow this path all the way up to the main road, then follow the road to the lodge. Of course I was wrong. David had other things in mind.
 After about ten minutes of walking on the path, David, our fearless leader, turned off into this elbow high grass. Just letting you know, there were also thorns all over the place, so we really felt like trailblazers. Around here we were all starting to question David's navigational skills and were considering our survival options.
And then came this sight and I decided never to doubt David again. He had turned off at exactly the right spot and we came out right behind the dam, and even missed all the trees. How he did it, I have no idea. He's just homeschooled that way! :)
 It was about at this point that I realized that we had to climb across these loose rocks at some point, and I started getting a bad feeling in my stomach. But there really wasn't anything else I could do, I couldn't really turn back! So I just took it slow and made it across without dying. Or falling. Although I do believe I nearly did both of those things a couple times. Then we had one last climb to the top of the dam, which was a piece of cake compared to what I had just done! I'm not sure how legal it was though, I kind of feel like it might have been against the law to climb on the dam.
 It was all definitely worth it to get a view of the other side of the lake! Normally I'm standing by that little boathouse taking pictures across to where I was standing for this picture. I can't wait to go back to this spot next year!
 Allison, the Lady of the Rocks. It makes me think of a figurehead on a ship!
 The not-so-newlyweds, Nathan and Diane were out canoeing and when they saw us they came over and said hi!
 I love the flower behind Jeremy's ear. It really just completes the ensemble, don't you think?
 Of course we couldn't resist swinging on the swings. I think this was one of the funnest things we did the whole week, honestly. I promise I did swing, I just had to take a picture of the others first!
 All of the girls who were courageous enough (or maybe stupid enough) to go along with the crazy boys on this suicide mission. Anna, me, and Allison.
 Ben, Geoff, Jeremy, David, and Jacob, the aforementioned crazy boys.
 Everyone except me and Anna crammed into the guardhouse outside the camp. After they hopped out, there was a whirlwind of dust and bugs.
After that, my camera batteries died and I didn't get new ones until Friday, so the whole rest of the day is chronicled only in our memories. It involved Swedish pancakes, canoeing, Ultimate Frisbee, more Swedish pancakes, and lots of fun.
And that was that!
Tune in next time for my post about our last day, which I'm sure will be full of all kinds of sad things and my eyes will NOT stay dry. :'(


  1. I love it and can tell you had fun and sooo sorry it was such a short trip :/

  2. Sounds like you had fun! ;-) I love Ultimate Frisbee!!! You're so lucky to have cousins (they are cousins, right??) that are about your age! :P

  3. Wow! Lots of really good pictures! Looks like you guys had fun at the obstacle course. Why doesn't anybody ever take a picture of the view from Rock of Ages?

  4. Aww, these posts are AWESOME, Meredith!(Not to mention, very cool). ;-) It feels as if we are reliving BE over again - and I am all about that. Thanks for doing this! =)