July 11th, Day Five - Work Alas
As the sun rose, my body kept telling me that I needed more sleep. But that didn't
stop the day from coming. I somehow got up and helped get breakfast started. Today,
it was oatmeal with hot coffee.
Drying the jungle boots.
Perhaps this is a great time to inform you of the art of putting on jungle
boots. By the end of a typical day in the wilderness, your boots, socks, and feet
are totally drenched in a pool of water. Now, putting on the boots in the cool morning
is a difficult art to master. Although we let the boots and socks dry at night,
they never fully do. So when putting on the socks, one must be mindful to do it
as quickly as possible, as the slower you go, the colder your foot feels. If you're
not awake before you put on your boots, you can be sure the cold socks will get
you up and moving.
Digging a trench to remove water on the trial.
After boots were all on, it was only a matter of time before our canoes were
in the water and we headed over to the work site. We arrived and unpacked all the
tools at the site. Andy and Vern reviewed the safety and purposes of all the tools
with the crew. Once everyone was on the same page, our hard hats were on, work gloves
around our fingers, and tools in our hands. I was working with my crew mate Doug
on fixing a major flooding problem in the middle of the portage trail. We had to
find a way to make the water flow to the side of the trail. Our first step was pushing
mud to start the water moving in the right direction. Next we dug a small trench
for the water to drain off the trail.
Lunch arrived so we relaxed for a bit and reflected upon the work. We soon returned to
work, where I participated in some lumber chopping and weed trimming.
Brian and his crew mates geared up for a swim.
The work day ended rather quickly, though we have been there for the full day.
We put away all the tools and returned back to the campsite.
The thing to do after a long day of work is ingenious: go swimming. We jumped
off a five-foot rock into the refreshing water that is native to Minnesota. We all
cleaned off the mud
on our arms and faces and relaxed in the water. We cleaned our clothes, changed
in to our dry shoes and started on some dinner. The clouds changed and it started
to rain, so we took shelter underneath the crew's dinning fly.
360 Degree View of the Campsite.
Right after dinner, we cleaned up and started in to our nightly lesson of Leave
No Trace. This evolved into our regular reflection as we scurried off to our tents.
Lying down was by far amazing. My arms hurt. My back needed cracking, and the mosquito
bites were itchy. Though, all of those pains seemed to fade away as I drifted off
into a deep relaxing sleep.
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