The phrase, “Mind over matter”, was put to the test when the UNC-Asheville Mindfulness club volunteered for a day with SAHC. Travis Bordley, our new Americorps Roan Outreach Associate, hosted 4 members of club and volunteers Saylor Fox and Bettye Boone for a trash clean-up day on a conservation property in the Highlands of Roan.
The tract is located just below Carver’s Gap on the North Carolina side of the ridge, and people pulling off to the side of Highway 261 have thrown empty bottles, trash bags, and tires onto it. Travis and his brave volunteer group came in to remedy the situation.
On Saturday, November 19th the mid-day temperature reached just 20 degrees and winds were blowing gusts up to 50 mph. This was no deterrent for the trash clean-up crew, who removed bags of garbage to protect important stream headwaters. Our guests from UNC-Asheville were delighted to spend time in the Roan and our longtime volunteers, Saylor and Bettye, offered up their home to allow everyone to eat lunch protected from the brutally cold wind.
After lunch the crew decided to carry on with the days itinerary and go for a hike up Round Bald. Starting from about 1,000 below the summit, the mountain was consumed in a cloud of blowing ice. The view looked like the inside of a ping pong ball. The group struggled to maintain footing against the wind, fueled by the wonder of the Roan. Everyone was amazed by the arctic conditions that existed only at this elevation. At the top the group took its time rolling in the snow and taking pictures of the ice caked landscape. The Mindfulness Club, Saylor, Bettye, and Travis all took turns doing solo-hikes down from the summit.
We are very proud of our volunteers for facing an early winter and taking care of our natural resources!