Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 10 - Brandon Wessels

Quotes of the day:
“Dream as if you'd live forever, live as if you'll die today.” -James Dean

“All for one and one for all.” -The Three Musketeers

“A chain is only as strong as its' weakest link.”

Today was a very very bitter sweet day. The group woke up at six this morning to get packed up and ready to set out on our first of 18 days of canoeing on the English River...I'm not going to lie, I was pretty upset when I realized I wasn't going to get my last fix of Mountain Dew before we pushed out onto the river, but I guess I'll survive. Before we shoved off, Jeff showed us how to pack the canoes properly with our river bags so the canoes would float down the river smoothly with their weight centered.

Once we were out on the river things went pretty smooth, everyone was doing just as good, if not better, than they did when we practiced in Macomb. About 2.5km later we reached our first portage, but instead of making the trek we decided to set up camp since it was the first day on the water and we still had a lot to do.

Our first chore was to find an appropriate area to set up a campsite which we were able to do successfully thanks to our lesson that Brittany taught us on campsite selection. Once our tents were set up we gathered around to listen to Molly teach us how to use water filters so we don't get jardia and poop ourselves. After Molly's marvelous lesson Jeff taught us how to use our backcountry stoves and then we prepared and cooked dinner for ourselves...which didn't go quite as smoothly as we would have liked, but the food was pretty good and only a few people came out with a couple minor burns...just kidding, but seriously, they did. After dindin it was time to hang our dreadful bear bags. This wouldn't have been such a bad task if there were trees around with branches that wouldn't snap from a grasshopper landing on them. After a very stressful 203 hours of setting up bear hangs we finally got the job accomplished.

Following our sloppy success against the bear hangs we circled up and debriefed the day...too bad our leader of the day, Justin, decided to call it an early night and was passed out in his tent so we had to do it without him – but after all the energy he put forth these last few days and only getting three hours of sleep in the last three days, who wouldn't like to zonk out early?

Needless to say, this has been a long day for everyone, but full of learning experiences. Time to hit the sack so we can conquer the challenges of tomorrow.

So long ECOEE followers!

Brandon Wessels

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