Employee Spotlight: Hailey’s Favorite Hobby
Associate Attorney Hailey Brock talks about one of her favorite hobbies: kayak camping.
How did you develop this love for kayak camping?
My older brother, Adam, first introduced me to the great outdoors. He has a love for nature that is really infectious. When I was a kid, he would take me and my sister “camping” in our backyard. As we got older, he would take me with him on camping trips to the North Georgia mountains. He’s always loved to fish, so he eventually got into kayaking and started to plan kayak camping trips. He’ll choose a river and spend weeks planning where we will camp along the way. He gauges the water levels and how fast the river is moving to determine how long it will take us to get from one point to the next. We sleep in hammocks on the riverbank and bring all the food we need. We’ve kayak camped all over the Southeast.
Who do you camp with?
I still go with my brother, though there are usually lots of other people along. Our mom comes with us sometimes, too! My brother is a great camp cook. He knows a lot of great outdoor cooking hacks. We always have these amazing dinners out in the middle of the woods. Everything tastes better when it’s cooked over a campfire! He even makes this peach cobbler to die for in a cast-iron Dutch oven for dessert.
What do you do when you’re camping?
I like to hike and swim during the day, and on clear nights I love to stargaze. My favorite part of every trip is observing the different ecological systems and the wildlife they support. The variety of different species of aquatic plants, birds, and other wildlife we encounter always amazes me. The winter before last, we saw otters, manatees, and anhingas when we camped along the Ochlocknee River. We’ve seen rare albino squirrels in the mountains of North Carolina on the French Broad River and alligators on the Suwannee River in Florida.
Where is the last place you camped?
The last place was Franklin, North Carolina. I took a kayak camping trip on the Little Tennessee River with my brother and some other friends. I also took my kayak out on Lake Sinclair over the Fourth of July weekend, but I didn’t camp then.
What is your favorite camping place?
Top of the list is probably Blue Bear Mountain in Todd, North Carolina. I saw an amazing meteor shower there. It was a special night.
What does camping give you that you can’t get anywhere else?
It’s about stepping away from civilization. I love reconnecting with nature and feeling my place in it.
What advice do you have for would-be kayak campers?
Prepare for rain. Bring tarps and ponchos.
How do you handle the mosquitos?
We think ahead about where we’re going, how hot and humid it’s going to be, and where we’ll be sleeping. We try to avoid swampy places when it’s hot. We also bring plenty of bug spray.