We had an incredible mountain weekend experience in Lake Lure, NC, cohosted with Give UNCW. We tackled the brutally cold (and sometimes blizzard conditions) to bring awareness to marine plastic pollution inland- because all bodies of water eventually flow to the ocean. 18 of us ventured into the heart of downtown Asheville on the first day, in rain jackets and all, and explored the Mast General Store, Mamasitas burritos, books and such at the library, and some good brews at Asheville Brewing Co. (21+).
The next day, the crew braced the cold and snow to help support women’s rights during the Asheville Women’s March. Some of girls recycled our pancake boxes from breakfast to make signs to hold up during the march. We had fun walking around, but quickly took retreat into a local coffee shop (using their in-house mugs of course!) On our way back to the house, we passed Hanging Rock where we witnessed a huge waterfall spew half-frozen water for hundreds of feet below…nature is incredible! We then ventured into some local trails to take in more of the sights and sounds of the NC Appalachian mountains. Along the way we removed several wrappers, plastic bottles, and other trash. We stumbled upon another waterfall and some pretty big rocks, acting like kids again, getting lost in the wild.
That night we built a bonfire outside our house, roasted some marshmallows, told ghost stories, and stayed up late to witness a spectacular lunar eclipse (for many of us our first!) When the moon finally became blocked by the Earth’s shadow, hundreds of thousands of stars brightened the sky ever so clearly.
On the last day, we REALLY braced the cold (temps below 15F!) We helped Greenworks remove near 70 lbs of trash from streets of downtown Asheville… trash that would have otherwise made its way into the drains, down the rivers, and impact aquatic life. It was so cold, that at times the garbage was frozen, stuck to the ground (especially cig butts). At the end, we rewarded ourselves with some locally made sandwiches and sweets and made our trek back to Wilmington. Weekend well spent!
Written by: Eric Dzenis