Wild, Wet, Wonderful Western Virginia and SUUSI

1998 July 26-August 1

Wild Tubing Ride
Once again I go out to Radford University for the 1998 edition of the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI). This time I divided my time between my own workshops, hikes in the western Virginia wilderness, especially those involving bodies of water, and a workshop on collage interpretation by Earl Koteen, an expert on dreams.

Hiking in the mountains of western Virginia was wet and wonderful, like the state to the north, West Virginia. On Monday I hiked with a group to the Rapids of the Little River, where we jumped in for a swim. On Wednesday, I went with a group on the Triple Slog hike, upstream on Little Stoney Creek, north of the beautiful Cascades. It was a wet and rocky walk, hiked in bathing suits, knapsacks, and immersible but sturdy shoes. At the end we reached a sizable waterfall, so I sat in the middle of one part of it.

On Thursday we went tubing on the New River (above). I tubed down the river three times. On the third ride , the tube took me way out to the middle. I tried to get back and slipped out, and I had to swim back against a hostile current, but I made it back OK.

On Friday we went to Dismal Falls, about 20 miles west of Radford. This is, in my opinion, one of the best nature hikes at SUUSI. The water is clear and not too cold, and there are enough rocks to create some rock-climbing excitement.

In the mornings I attended a collage making workshop by Earl Koteen. Interpreting collages is like interpreting dreams, but is a lot easier, since dreams are hard to remember and since others can only get a verbal view of your dream unless you are a good, diligent artist.

Of course, I gave my own workshops. Everyone in my polyhedra workshop made an attractive model, and my patterns went like hotcakes. Watch my web page for some of these patterns; right now, you can click Octahedron-Tri and make the model. Margie Hallmark created a ceremonial rattle in the sky in my Stories of the Constellations workshop, out of the stars of Cygnus. I gave everyone in UUs Online an introduction to the Internet and the Unitarian Universalist Association's home site, www.uua.org.

There were theme and workshops every time 9 o'clock rolled around, both am and pm. At night, SUUSI people and others showed their talents at Cabaret and Concert Hour. We danced every night until 1 at Serendipity. On Thursday night, Serendipity was a costume party, and my polyhedra magician costume won 2nd runner up. On Friday night, the Teens gave their Way Off Broadway show, "The UU Files", based on an idea I submitted last year, that of extraterrestrials landing on SUUSI.

But then it all had to end on Saturday, as we get back to our ordinary lives. We hugged each other and said goodbye at Closing Circle. We now wait 51 more weeks until we can meet again at SUUSI 1999.

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