On Saturday of fall break we drove to Black Mountain, North Carolina, to visit Camp Crestridge. My sister, Beth, and I attended this girls' camp four summers during our childhood, but I hadn't been back in probably 26 years. Camp was empty, so we were able to explore on our own and enjoy a lovely fall day here.
Our first stop as we climbed the hill into camp was the stable and riding ring. Beth spent many hours here during her camping days. Me, not so many...
Luckily the chapel was unlocked, so we were able to go inside. The green stained-glass windows brought back a sense of familiarity that the hilly terrain hadn't. However, the more we walked around the camp, the more my memories stirred.
I began attending Crestridge as a Chickasaw (the youngest campers were the Chippewas; the oldest the Cherokees).
Whenever I've told Tim about Crestridge, I've mentioned the many, many steps leading up to my cabins during my second and third summers. He teased me, believing this hill had grown higher and higher in my memory. He wasn't teasing me any more when he tackled Choctaw Hill himself. As you can see, the railroad-tie steps look unending. They feel that way too as you are climbing them!
They have recently renovated the cabins at Crestridge. I was happy to see they kept evidence of the original walls with our shoe-polish graffiti inside (areas covered with plexiglass showing the original walls with signatures of campers).
We ended our day at the open-air pavilion. To the left is the lake, which I avoided at all costs when I was a camper. My childish mind couldn't understand that "manmade" meant the creatures it contained were limited. It looked much less scary void of its murky waters.
It was such fun to return to Crestridge and remember the summer days I spent there as a child. It was also fun to share it with Seth and Reed, who now have "summer camp" memories of their own.