There are many activities held at the Cradle of Forestry and one of our personal favorites is the Forest Festival Day during which students at several universities compete in old lumberjack activities. The competition this year was held Saturday, October 1 with five schools competing.
Women weave, demonstrate hearth cooking, spin and perform other domestic duties in the Ranger's Dwelling.
(You may want to click and enlarge the photographs.)
The Ranger's Dwelling
It was a beautiful day with bright sunshine and a nice breeze. My husband and I laughed as we drove through the entrance and saw so many people with caps, gloves, and heavy coats. "Must be tourists," my husband quipped. We stopped laughing shortly after we got out of the car. We surely should have known better. After all, the Cradle of Forestry is at a higher elevation than our house and is always cooler. Large trees keep the trails shaded. And we really under-estimated the strength of the constant wind. My husband was wearing a long-sleeved tee shirt. I was wearing a tee shirt and a very light-weight denim jacket. I think each of us was hoping that the other would suggest that we venture to the gift shop and buy a couple of heavy sweatshirts. But I wasn't about to be the one labeled "wuss" for the rest of the day. And apparently my husband wasn't going to do that either. I gave a thought to suggesting we get a souvenir at the gift shop (and mine would be something in fleece) but that really would have been a bit obvious. So we traipsed along the trail our noses and fingers turning blue. We went through a tunnel under the highway and now we know exactly what a wind tunnel feels like!
Some of the spectators, dressed more appropriately for the weather than we were.
In the log-rolling event, the students must move a large log from one end of the field to the other, turning the log around at the center and rolling it through two markers.
I took a lot of pictures of the blacksmith. Why? Because the heat from his fire felt wonderful. I had to move away, though. The only way I could get a photograph was to ask someone to move for a minute. And the guy clearly wanted his place back so I had to move on.
I bought a cup of coffee despite having already consumed my quota for the day. I didn't drink any of it, but held on to the warm cup until it got cold. My hands said "thank you very much."
For once, the mascot for Haywood Community College welcomed the warmth of his costume. He is waving to a little girl about three. She smiled, but when the mascot took a step towards her she jumped into her mother's arms.
It was a grand day despite the fact that we were not prepared for the chilly weather. You would have thought that the frost at our house that morning might have given us a clue. Oh well, live and learn.