Archive for July, 2012

A Summer in Review

Okay so things are finally slowing down for me for the first time since school ended. I started my full time job right after school ended and did that until the 13th of July. I’m glad I chose to work really hard for half of the summer instead of not working too hard for the whole summer, but it was no walk in the park! it has been the hottest summer in the history of ever and that made being a person who works outside carrying heavy stuff all day very difficult. Also, it turned out that a lot of people I worked with lacked personality. Its hard to do that kind of work when you aren’t around fun people. Then I finished work and headed up to the cabin. I got to do my first practice pack! It was not very good. I need to keep practicing! Here are the two guides I used to help me: http://www.gapyear.com/articles/120995/packing-list/1443 & http://www.gapyear.com/articles/90432/how-to-pack-a-backpack/1443. They’re good, in fact, gapyear.com is a great place for any potential gappers. Okay, back on task. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the cabin. I skied a lot and, inspired by the stories of Fawcett, and armed with nothing more than one backpack, a tiny tent, and almost no experience, Liza and I went camping. We drove to Itasca State Park and hiked 2.1 miles through swarms of raging insects to a small clearing marked “Campsite.” There Liza set up the tent, gathered firewood, lit a fire and did all of the manly stuff while I put some kabob meat, butter, and a can of veggies in tin foil and threw it in the fire for dinner. We had the genius idea of bringing two floaties to sleep on which seems brilliant. They’re light, they deflate and fold up to be small, and people lie on them all the time. It would be a comfy night, right? Wrong. It was so hot that night that we couldn’t go under our sleeping bags because it was too hot so we were directly on the plastic floaties. We tried to cover them with towels but it wouldn’t work. It was so humid that we were super sticky and got stuck to the floaties which was not comfortable at all. That mixed with the fact that there were monsters outside of our tent waiting for us to fall asleep to eat us meant that we did not sleep well at all. Needless to say, we woke up in the morning surprisingly refreshed reflecting on the beautiful hike and the s’mores, not the leeches we were covered by or the fear of the nonexistent monsters. We then packed up and headed back down the bug infested trail through the heat. Seeing my car after an hour of trudging was the most relieving feeling in the world.

The only other summer news is that our vegetable garden is thriving! I’ve been picking delicious green beans and golden zucchini, and today I put a fresh picked jalapeno in the tacos I cooked for dinner. Sorry, I didn’t think I had so much to say until I started writing.

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Percy Harrison Fawcett

Percy Harrison Fawcett

The Lost City of Z

Now that I’m done with work I’ve actually had a couple minutes of free time I got to read a book and I chose this one. It was awesome! It was about an explorer who disappeared in the Amazon, and it was a true story. I can’t ruin the ending because Liza reads this blog and is also reading the book, but after I read  it, I saw a documentary on PBS about it that was completely autonomous from the book but was very, very similar. Here is the link, I recommend you watch it: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/episodes/lost-in-the-amazon-watch-the-full-episode/829/

Almost There!

Okay, its been a while and I have a lot to say so I might do a couple shorter posts. I’m done with work, back from the cabin, and have worked out 4 days in a row. I’m on a roll and I’m gonna try to send that momentum into my gap year planning. I already applied for my New Zealand visa and hopefully I’m not shot down! I’ve also gotten back in touch with Jorge from the Ecuador program and I think we’re all set and ready to go. I’ve also paid for the India program and am just waiting to hear more from them. Hopefully they contact me this summer because it might be difficult to set that up after we’re on the road. I did the last of my shopping, too, and I think I actually have everything I need. All that’s left to do is not spend my hard earned spending money, get traveler’s insurance, and visit the Container Store (I still haven’t turned in that card thing that opens the door). Okay after these next couple blogs, my next update will most likely come right before I leave!