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!