Sunday, August 31, 2008
I received a first hand lesson in expedition behavior last night; you know, the part where you’re supposed to respect the other campers in and around your campsite. At around 3:30 A.M. the group of campers next to us in Big Horn fired up their dirt bikes, and 4 wheelers, and chain saws. They had their music up loud and their voices were trying to go over the top of each other. Besides that half an hour of noise I slept great. It felt awesome to be able to actually sleep inside my sleeping bag without getting hot and sweaty. I woke up refreshed, crossed the beautiful creek to brush my teeth and began to scout out the signs of wildlife all around our campsite. There were signs of moose, deer, and really no signs of people… Its about time. The group showed signs of improvement on efficiency; we had all the tents taken down and sleeping bags put away in the tailor before chow circle was even called. Though we are showing signs of improvement and starting to get used to the process, we still have a lot of room for improvement. When we get efficient at all the small things like keeping organized or even getting quick at zipping up the tents or stuffing the sleeping bags, we will begin to allow for more free time, which I think the group badly needs. So far, we have not had much of that and I think some members are wondering if that day will ever come. I personally am optimistic. I can see the group beginning to blossom and its only a matter of time before a ray of sunshine hits us and the beautiful flower we are shows itself, I just wonder what color it will be. I am finally caught up on sleep and my body is feeling much better. I have gone a few days without cigarettes now and I am feeling just fine without them. I know I am not the only quitting and I am here as a support group for the others that, are going through this with me. Beyond that, I also realize that my actions need to change. Its about time I quit making excuses step up, and become the man I know I can be, quit giving people, especially Rose such a hard time with my attitude and start helping the group progress. Just like Larry said, “ It’s easy to make excuses for our actions, but in the end we make the decisions to act the way we act PERIOD!!! Now that I have a clean body and a clear head, it is becoming much easier for me to understand when I am acting in an improper manner. In fact it is starting to make me feel bad when I treat people wrongly. In the past, I could really care les what others thought about the way I act. On a different issue, on the drive to our campsite, we got to witness the mass devastation a tiny beetle can cause on the side of the road, causing all the trees to become gray and brown, While on the other side of the road it was a beautiful stream. It was mind boggling to me to see two totally different sides of nature at one moment in time. When we finally arrived in camp the group showed more signs of improvement in the area of efficiency. We used teamwork to quickly set up, eat, and take down the lunch site. Another issue arose at this time that had to do with this groups ability to make properly informed decisions we found out that we tend to let our personal emotions take charge and fail to weigh out all possible options in order to make a decision. Overall, not visiting the museum was the correct decision to make because we still had to get to our campsite, we are already over budget, people were tired, campsites were getting harder to find, and we had to wake up very early the next day. Even though this was the correct decision, I don’t believe it was made in the correct manner. If we do not get better as a group in the decision making process, there will come a time when not only the wrong decision will be made, but that decision will have much more drastic consequences than a lost opportunity to build our knowledge or respect for the past. Once again we did fairly well on quickness on setting up camp, especially taking into consideration it was cold and raining and the fly’s had to be set up. Also, it must have been set up pretty well because it rained and snowed on us and nobody but JEFF woke up wet! We are moving along quickly and I hope we can put into overdrive soon to be totally prepared for the backcountry. There are many beautiful sights to be seen so I hope the group can stay focused and stay on task to make this trip the best it can possibly be. And I am certain we can and I hope this group goes down as the best ECOEE group Jeff has had in a long time! Written by Ryan DeBoer.