We showed up at the Ecological Sustainable Landscape (ESL), some of us packed and ready to go on our hike and others without any bags. Our first few days were scheduled with classes and others activities to prepare for our hike in the High Peaks and our semester in Arcadia. We left the ESL in two different groups to set out on different routes that would meet up half way through our 7 day trek. We have come up with three highlights from both our trips.
Highlight number one: Operation bear hangs. Hiking group number one had various bear hang experiences. for those who don't know, a bear hang is where we take our food and hang it from trees to prevent any animals from eating it. Our first bear hang was a failure. It was dark out and our group was huddled around trying to lift up the food into the tree. Right when it reached above our heads the branch snapped and the food bags crashed onto Dante's head. He was okay and everyone laughed about the situation. Our bear hangs improved over the next few nights and they were always a funny moment of our day.
Now the other group was not as serious with their bear hangs. Instead they just hung bags from tiny branches that were barely five feet off the ground. they are supposed to be hung about eight feet above the ground!
Highlight number two: the groups rejoin for a day in the sun. Both groups met up at the Seward lean-to for a swim at possibly one of the best swimming oles in the High Peaks. We sat out on the rocks next to the river for the majority of the afternoon. This was the most relaxing day of the whole trip and the weather could not have been any better.
Highlight number three: Noah John Rondeau hermitage site. At the different times during the trip both groups wandered past the place where Noah John Rondeau spent years at a time by himself or with one of his many visitors. He sounded like a remarkable man being able to keep a fire going for 180 days.
We managed to get through the mud, past the hermit site, over the rivers and back to our cars. We are now in Arcadia loving life, exploring, and cooking amazing organic local foods. today we start to get into the swing of class life starting with Land Use Change in the Adirondacks. We are all excited for Bill McKibben's visit on Wednesday. So far adapting to a world of living in yurts, bathing in the lake and having our power generated by solar energy is going smoothly which may not be the case when November rolls around.
Arla & Rosie