Sunday, August 21, 2016

10 weeks of Awesome

Today I'm moving back into my house after almost 3 months of living semi-off-the-grid. For three months I've traveled under southwestern skies, through moons and monsoons, set up and torn down camps, but mostly helped things run smoothly at our base camp. Now that this final day has come, I don't even know where to begin to process this I'll start with the data:

42 like minded peers with similar shared experiences and different perspectives on our adventures.
126 youth who I got to know by name, hike and explore with and learn from.
Over 70 nights sleeping in open air: 26 nights in a tent, 4 nights under the stars, the rest in my "cabin", the Shed.
About 18 showers. 6 laundry days. And 8 really good flossings (sorry Dentist).
3 star talks, one moon viewing through the telescope, 5 long walks in the rain, four walks through a burned part of the forest, one mountain summit, 3 miles of backpacking, lots of digging through outdated field guides, about 130 formal meetings and countless informal ones. 4 boxes of lucky charms. 8 games of bucketball. 30 nut butter and jelly lunches, two hikes up pyramid rock and two flea market stops. Over 75 "desert silvery blues," and many, many inside jokes. 2 new friends, dozens of wonderful memories, and renewed fortitude.

Top 10 moments:

1)Elliott missing Cordelia with the purple ball in Spud
2) Walter calling the cake slipping off Chet's plate.
3) Sitting with Palo and 2 cool kid hikers at dinner after second Rendezvous and hearing an 18 year old say, "speaking of dinosaur classification..." before launching an excited explanation of the Brontosaurus.
4) Outfit 2's rendezvous song.
5) Harriet the rat
6) Chris's late night bug show, "Cassiussss"
7) Chris and Lisa sitting super close to me for a "Cass-Sandwhich"
8) Chris "excuse me, you're on fire" during rendezvous mudgie
9) Mike's "food for athletes" and people in gulch jerseys eating ice cream out of a wheelbarrow during a game of bucketball, while MDT and WCT watched
10) Reunion campfire(s)

This summer has been full of growth for me. I have learned and been challenged by my lack of interpersonal skills. I learned some new bugs, and grew more confident in teaching. I learned that even if you say yes to everything and feel like you're going to drown in opportunity...there is Always a way. Honestly, after this summer, with all the death and a wedding and reunion and a family reunion and school field trips all stacked on one another... I have been reminded that no matter what, there will always be clouds in the sky...attitude is everything, and a little Grit goes a long way.

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