Last Trail Week

I just found out a few hours ago that I have worked the last week on the trail for this season at Anasazi!!!

Why? Not because I was fired, not because I quit… but when I called BYU-I for the Meso America Tour information she told me that our classes started on April 9th… a week sooner than the semester begins! It was a last minute change they had to make. Whoa, that was news to me so I had to cancel my plane tickets, tell Anasazi I was leaving sooner, and now I’m trying to get everything done this weekend before leaving for Utah on the 4th. I’ve got a final project for my Online Media Class, car maintinence, vaccination shots (for the Tour), and stuff to finish in AZ. Not to mention taxes are coming up.

So my plans are to drive to Utah on the 4th, do the family reunion thing with Mom and Dad, then drive to Idaho in the 7th or 8th. It’s moving so fast!

So, now, this week on the trail was an adventure all on its own, as is usually is. I worked with Kat in the Badgerstone Girls group (the young-uns). The first three days were raining a lot and when that happens you just have to accept the fact that you get wet. Plus we were hiking along a river and that meant you had to cross it. We have old army tarps to make shelters with, so we mostly stayed dry. The tragedy of rain (though I consider it to be beautiful and it helps the fresh spring plants grow) is that all the wood gets wet; and that means it is hard to get a fire going (we use bow drills to start fire). Plus, our food must have a fire so we can cook it (lentils, rice, flour, etc), so that also means we go hungry while eating only apples and some raisins if we don’t get fire. Oh yeah, and that also means no warmth and no light in the dark. It really makes for a miserable experience. To make matters worse, we had to hike in a big circle. The girls don’t know this of course because that would create mutiny. Luckily the girls don’t pay much attention to the scenery and they really had no idea. It was actually quite funny. The adult men pick up on stuff like that quickly and are fast to complain. When you see a huge mountain… and it is always on the left side of you while you are hiking… you might be going in a circle!

But going in a circle proved to be beneficial for our group. We had one girl, who is really sweet, but a slow hiker. Very slow. We made 2 miles in just over 5 hours of hiking along the river. Eventually it got really cliffy and we had to choose to cross the river or climb out of the canyon to the ridgeline and hike the mountains. The map showed an adjacent canyon which had one of my favorite creeks to camp on! It would cut our hike in half though (remember the circle thing). Well, I hate drinking out of rivers and prefer creeks (because people recreate by rivers and poop in them). So we climbed up the ridge and over into the next canyon. A hard hike for some of the girls, a fun one for others; awesome for me and Kat! We found a sweeeeeeet camping spot and decided to lay over a day. The rain stopped and we began to dry off, and the best part… make good food by the fire!

The girls were angry at the slow girl and began to form a separate ‘friends’ group that didn’t include her. It is a bad situation and doesn’t make this job seem fun at all. But to make a long story short, by the end of the week we got two new girls, and everybody around the campfire agreed to have a “new beginning” with each other. Everybody became friends again and they were all working on skills and stuff (I love seeing them work on skills!). I saw some people grow this week. It ended on a natural high.

Well, I can’t believe I am going back to Idaho so soon! I really do miss you guys; in fact I had a dream that I was in Idaho this week. How ironic when I didn’t know I would be coming back so soon. It made me long for the times we’ve had. Well I think I’ve said all I have to say because my mind keeps going blank. It’s all out of things to say.

What about the Trail?

Thanks Angela and Jo for reminding me to actually use my blog for ‘real life stories!’ YES, I miss all my friends from Idaho!!! As per your request, here is an update about last week…

Well I have finished the third week on the trail this year. First two weeks were with adult men (Sinagua) and the last one was with the girls (Badgerstone). It sure was an interesting week for me. It was the first all-girl group I have been in for the entire 8 day trek. At first I was mostly quiet… I knew that any ordinary sarcasm I was used to from the boy groups would not fly well in a girls group (learned that from experience last year). The thing about girls is they rely on each other a lot for support. In other words, they love to have something to brag about, something for someone to feel sorry for them for, and someone to share a secret or two with. It’s also a social status to state how long you’ve been with your boyfriend and what type of vehicle he owns (and how often you guys ride in it together). Nevertheless, amongst all the emotional and social turmoil, there lies a strong center withing the girls band. They are better hikers than the boys group by far – never complaining because the hike gets too difficult or because the bushes have thorns. The guys complain a lot about hiking. Ironically, the men are better cooks around the campfire, but the girls are better hikers 🙂 Not what society today portrays gender roles as being.

Nevertheless, by the end of the week I loved being with the Badgerstone Girls. Everyone was progressing and there was a great spirit of friendship before I left. One of the girls who would do push ups with me beat me in arm wrestling! (But I won when we did left hands). Another girl did a 24 hour primitive with me. This is how it worked… we decided that all the food we would eat that day must be gathered from the land, and that night we would have to sleep without sleeping bags (next to the campfire of course, and on opposite sides of the fire). We ate popago lilies (stuff you have to dig up to get), miners lettuce, wild rhubarb, watercress, and prickly pear pads. We didn’t hunt anything because it was only 24 hours, but if we were going for longer we would have set traps for pack rats or other rodents (yes, rodents. You can eat everything on them except for their teeth. They are a good source of food). Insects are also good if you can find decent ones. Wood worms are good as well. Rabbits are too quick for traps and are caught with large nets, which we don’t have unless we make one. Anyways, I learned an important lesson about eating prickly pear: don’t eat the adult pads! Only the young ones! I ended up being fatigued and dizzy for the next day and a half because I ate a prickly pear pad. The fruit is fine, but the pads aren’t really good for a meal. Sleeping next to the fire was fine, a little cold though. Well, that was last week on the trail! I leave again this Wednesday. Who knows where I will be working this time!

One last thing for those interested, David H. wife is expecting a baby girl soon. Actually she was due four days ago! I saw her then and she looked fine. It’s pretty exiting – a bathtub birth. Everything has been carefully planned and prepared for. I wish them the best!

Coffee Rush

I’ve been at the “Coffee Rush” for the past few hours finishing up the next week’s worth of online homework before I head back on the trail tomorrow. I’m looking forward to this week for two reasons: 1. I’ll be working with friends I already know and hang out with, 2. I will be with the girls group which may be a nice change since I don’t normally work with them. I’m updating my blog right now for a break from homework.

Next week I am going with some other trailwalkers to help teach primitive skills at a Boy Scout convention. I am especially exited since I am an Eagle Scout. It has been a long time since I’ve done anything with the Boy Scouts, other than teaching First Aid at a Jamboree in Rexburg a few years ago.

Down in Tuscon there are some people who live in an “effecient neighborhood.” That means that their houses are positioned to harvest rainwater, warmth from the Sun, and coolness from the earth, etc. Kat and Scooter went down to Tuscon to volunteer services in exchange for a friendly tour and information on the process. I couldn’t go because I was feeling sick that day, but I hear it was great. I think I’ll get to go next time soon. I write this because I think that most of my friends reading this would love to do the same thing. Hey… we should start our own effecient neighborhood! 😉

There is another guy who is an herbalist and I think I’m going to visit him after the Boy Scout Conference I mentioned earlier.

By the way, it sure is nice to be typing on my own laptop right now. I haven’t had access to the internet before coming to the Coffee Rush, so I’ve had to use a crappy computer at the Office. My laptop is a Ferrari compared to that slow office beast of a computer.

This place has great hot chocolate, and the guy here is really cool with long black hair and goes by the name of “Mo.” One lady saw my longboard and said she was a pro-skater for VANS back in the day. Then she winked at me. I asked her if she’d ever been to So-Cal but she hadn’t. I asked her if she could do a hand stand on a skateboard and she said “no” (I saw someone do that at my Junior High School when they toured that area). Then she told me it would be pretty hard to do an Ollie on my longboard. “Um… yep, it would, but I can ride off of curbs pretty well.” (longboards aren’t meant for stunts like ollies). The conversation ended. I don’t know why, but older women are more attracted to me than ones my age. Or really short girls. No big deal. I wasn’t even interested anyways. I dated a trailwalker friend here for a bit and we still kinda like each other. Well, I gotta go bowling before going to the trail tomorrow 🙂 Hasta!