Sunday, May 18, 2008

2 months left

We made it Salt Lake City and we're all settled in at Camp Kostopulos. It's beautiful here with the mountains in the distance (snow capped) and greenery everywhere. The city is incredibly clean, people seem pretty nice... things are good. Two weeks of training begin tomorrow. The first week will be policies/procedures, etc. with the second focusing on dealing with the horses and doing the ropes course. After the two weeks are up, we have seven weeks with campers, in which we'll be working 7:30am to 9:00pm. Wowza. Better get my sleep while I can!

I finally have some time to post pictures from the last SPIKE, so here you all go!

Rolling a "biscuit" on the first day of work


We usually took a nap on the porch of the lodge during lunch


Nicole and I split a lot of wood that day...


William and me with a huge piece of wood we had to lift into and out of the truck


Nicole helped too. It was probably close to 300lbs.


View of camp...mostly of the fun trees we were surrounded by every day!


A night out dancing in Big Bear


Lastly, me doing the high ropes at the YMCA camp in Big Bear


It was about 40 ft up, I think.


I thought I was going to puke.


There you go! Nicole needs her computer back so I'll try to put some more pictures up at a later date. Hope all is well in your respective worlds! :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Very Quickly

Hi all...

Well, most of you know already, but I am currently living at a YMCA camp outside of Angelus Oaks, CA (population 108) in the San Bernardino Mountains. Needless to say, I don't have internet and my phone doesn't even work there! So, I haven't had the opportunity to update. I am currently in Big Bear, CA (about 40 minutes from where we live) and borrowing a computer in a coffee shop to quickly quickly update.

The work we are doing is strenuous, to say the least. Apparently, in the past 5 years, this area has seen a tremendous drought, which allowed the bark beetle to gain control and kill many of the trees. Thus, fire has become a serious threat. We are performing fuel reduction, in which we help the De'Benneville Pines camp (a Unitarian Universalist camp) to get rid of "fuel". Basically, we are removing large, dead, trees from the area---by hand, usually. I've been lifting "biscuits", or rounds of wood that weight up to 300lbs (with help!) and removing lots of brush. We get to use a pole saw, which is a small chainsaw at the end of a 7 foot pole to take down the ladder fuels, which are branches less than 6 feet off the ground. It's pretty crazy and pretty fun!

We are all exhausted when we get home from work, so it is helpful we have nothing better to do than to read or watch movies (VHS) by our fireplace in our cabin. I am very much enjoying the scenery and the clear blue skies that we have every day. While this has been the most physically grueling project, it is turning out to be my favorite so far.

That said, we have a week and a half left and we are headed up to Salt Lake to start work at Camp Kostapolus. I'm not quite sure if I'm ready for the upcoming project, mostly because it is our last. It will be sad to see this experience end, and the time is going by ever so quickly.

Well, that's all I really have to report, just wanted to post a little update. Sorry, no pictures... I don't really have the time to upload any onto a computer. I hope everyone is doing well. I miss you and love you!!