Dunn's Rock News
Last updated 7/3/2019 at 3:50pm
The last time I saw my neighbor Jayne Fought at a Dunn’s Rock Community Center dinner and program, she was wearing a shirt with an “Island Ford Adventures” logo on it. Curious about her new business, and the renovations going on at the small house next to the log cabin where she and her husband, Clyde Carter, live, I scheduled a time to talk with her.
Not long after our chat, I received an email from Doris Gillespie Lance, who was pictured in a recent Dunn’s Rock News column as a young girl in a photo with Freda Jones Shepherd and Barbara Cantrell Wilson in the 1950s. It turns out that Doris, like Jayne, is an avid hiker.
There’s something else that the two have in common – the small house on Island Ford Road. Doris, her sister, Freda, and their parents, Virgil and Nancy Gillespie, lived in the house when she was growing up, before moving further down Island Ford near its intersection with Connestee Road.
Jayne and Clyde have recently updated the house, which was built by Ruth Holden Jones’ father, Mitchell. It’s been reroofed with metal, had windows replaced, been rewired, insulated and covered with new siding. Jayne plans to use the building as an office and as a storage space for her outdoor gear.
This little house has covered the heads of two big adventurers.
Island Ford Adventures
When Jayne Fought moved to Brevard several years ago, she was keen to begin offering courses on backpacking for women. She recently has launched Island Ford Adventures, a venture through which she will expand her adult outdoor education offerings to include courses on backcountry cooking, navigational skills, Leave No Trace and a variety of other topics. The next scheduled event is a sunset hike on July 12 in Pisgah National Forest.
The mission of Island Ford Adventures is “to build the skills and confidence to experience the outdoors in a way that leads to personal enhancement, a connection with others and an appreciation for the natural world.” So far, she’s had students ranging in age from 21 to 68.
Jayne said that in this harried world, where most folks stay connected to their cell phones, that it’s good to disconnect and just be. She aims to give people the skills to be able to get out in the natural world to discover its rejuvenating and restorative benefits. One of the focuses in her Hiking and backpacking courses is navigational skills. Jayne teaches necessary skills like reading a topographical map and using compasses. She wants her students to know enough about being in the outdoors that they’re confident in taking trips on their own. Perhaps the greatest thrill Jayne has had recently is the news that a couple of participants in her women’s backpacking class planned and completed a backpacking trip for some friends and their teen-aged daughters.
“They’re carrying on their love of the outdoors with the next generation,” Jayne said.
Jayne’s enthusiasm for outdoor adventures dates back to the late 1980s, when she took her first backpacking trip in the Grand Tetons with a church group.
“It was transformational,” she said. “I could carry everything I needed to survive on my back. It gave me a change of perspective about all of that stuff that we think we need in life.”
Jayne is adding to her course offerings a weekend backpacking intensive where instruction is given on a Friday, and a trip is taken over the next two days. This sort of arrangement, rather than the four weekly classes she has offered in the past, will allow more out-of-town adventurers to participate.
Jayne has some gear available for participants to borrow, and she is also taking donations of used items.
She holds permits to guide and lead trips in Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Recreational Forest. Jayne also leads custom guided hikes for individuals and groups. She plans to let the business grow organically, as she finds out what folks want to learn.
“It’s a labor of love,” she said.
In addition to Island Ford Adventures, Jayne teaches backpacking at Brevard College and works during the summer at nearby Rockbrook Camp for Girls. She leads campers on adventures of all types – ziplining, Hiking, backpacking, whitewater rafting, Canoeing, Rock Climbing, as well as canoe camping expeditions on the French Broad.
Jayne and husband, Clyde also have an adventure of their own planned for this summer. They plan to take a two-week, 200-mile canoe trip on the Snake River in the Yukon Territory of Canada.
No doubt Jayne will pass on her love of the outdoors to her grandchildren, including the three she has here in Brevard. There’s another on the way this month in South Carolina and Jayne’s son and his wife in Indiana are expecting a baby in February. It looks as if there might be a “backpacking with babies” course in her future.
Dunn’s Rock Adventurer
Doris Gillespie Lance said that seeing the photo of herself from years ago brought back memories of Sundays at Connestee Falls and playing softball in the field across the street from her house on Island Ford Road. Now residing in Paso Robles, Calif., Doris wrote to tell me a little of what she’s been up to since her early years of catching the bus near the Connestee schoolhouse, attending Dunn’s Rock Baptist Church Bible School, and Hiking with her family to the top of Dunn’s Rock.
“Those early years of being surrounded by mountain laurel and azaleas were the launching pad of my love and respect for nature and the preservation of the environment,” she wrote. “It also gave me a spirit of adventure, which has led me to Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Japan, Chile, Peru and Thailand.”
Doris, a wildflower photographer, has used those travels as an inspiration for the book she published this spring, “Botanical Reflections.” The book is a journal and a coloring book with 25 hand-drawn wildflower illustrations. Each entry includes a reflective question and an inspiring quote alongside black and white renderings of flowers.
Doris’ adventures have included Hiking the Machu Picchu trail in Peru, Torres de Paine in Chile, Scotland’s northern highlands and Mount Fuji in Japan.
Dogs and More Dogs
The next Dunn’s Rock Community Center Dinner and Program on Thursday, July 18, at 6 p.m. will feature a presentation by the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. The dogs in this unit have assisted officers in making 100 arrests, about half of them felonies. They are able to sniff out drugs, weapons and people who are hiding. The dogs also can assist in catching someone on the run or seizing the arm of someone holding a weapon. This program was a hit at the Cedar Mountain Community Center, and we look forward to seeing the dogs’ exciting demonstration.
Janet Robertson has planned a program-appropriate menu of hot dogs and all the trimmings for dinner. Homemade desserts also will be available. Feel free to bring a dessert of your own to share. For information on renting the community center, contact Janet Robertson at 883-2678. Send news of your adventures to [email protected]