Monday, October 6, 2008

Today the group almost blew our chance of completing a final in the backcountry. We were scheduled to have a meeting at 8:30 this morning at my tent group’s campsite to discuss expectations of final, but it didn’t go as smoothly as I had anticipated. Apparently, Jeff and Rose arrived at our site fifteen minutes early and were extremely disappointed, as well as angry, to find our kitchen a mess with none of us in sight. We four had just started crawling out of our sleeping bags with only a few minutes to spare, but enough in our opinion, in order to make it to the meeting on time. It turned out to be a very poor decision on our part because Jeff and Rose had now lost trust in the group due to our lazy expedition behavior. My group realized we had messed up big time, and spent the rest of the morning convincing Jeff and Rose that we were prepared and responsible enough to hike back to Worthen Meadows on our own for five days. Plus, we all really wanted to experience being on our own and prove to ourselves that we could successfully do it. Thankfully Jeff and Rose gave us a second chance, and allowed us to begin planning our final expedition with our new cook/tent groups.

It was still pretty darn cold outside at this point, so Ooter, Emilie, Jake and I put on extra layers, boiled some water for hot drinks, and snuggled up next to one another in our sleeping bags on top of a nice flat rock to plan our final expedition adventure. We got right to business, marking our routes for the next five days and creating time and energy control plans for each day. The four of us also had to come up with escape routes, alternative campsites, and lessons to teach the rest of our cook group.

Because our group did so well by staying focused and completing a TEC plan, we felt it was time for a lunch break. Potato pearl soup was on the menu, so we hydrated some veggies, cut some cheese, and added just the right amount of spices to the soup. It was time to add the potato pearls so Jake poured what he thought appeared to be potato pearls into the pot. He and I began stirring but couldn’t figure out why the consistency was still brothy and not thick. Ooter and Emilie gave the soup a try and were disgusted to taste lemon instead of potatoes. Jake and I had made the innocent mistake of pouring lemonade mix rather than potato pearls into the soup. As horrible, yet funny the situation was, we did not want to waste all of that food, so Emilie, Jake and I manned-up and drank the concoction of vegetables, beef bouillon, chili powder, and lemonade. I’ve never felt a sensation quite like it, which made me want to throw up but continue laughing at the same time. Ooter quickly took over and prepared an actual potato soup that turned out wonderfully.

The rest of the afternoon flew by as we completed the remainder of our TEC plans. Jeff and Rose looked them over to make sure they were accurate, and gave us some last minute advice while wishing us fun and safe travels for final. Later on that night, we went over to the other tent group’s site to wish them the same and bid them farewell. After spending every day with the entire group, it will definitely be weird these next few days without them. Each individual will be missed, but we will reunite soon enough with exciting stories to share with one another.

Courtney Mullin

No comments: