- the young alpacas are called crias
- alpacas are social creatures, they don't like to be alone
- they even poop together in a circle, jockeying for the best position
- they come in 39 different colors
- their fur is called fleece
- their fur is spun into yarn for hats, sweaters, gloves, scarves
Sunday, September 30
Thursday, September 27
Perfect fit! It only took me all morning to get it just right. I'm glad my teacher was patient.
- Much colder temperatures (even snow on our seventh day)
- Learned new trail work skills (including constructing rock steps, retaining walls, and crib walls)
- Used a grip hoist capable of moving 4,000lbs to move boulders from a talus field to our workzone
- The crew was split into two, working on two projects in different locations
- We were tired of each other by the end of this hitch and did not suggest a backpacking trip on our days off
John and Cager (our National Park Service Crew Leader) watch as Maggie pulls a boulder uphill on the griphoist to her staircase work zone.
Maggie's Staircase at completion - eight steps that took seven days to build.My first attempt at dry stone masonry (no mortar used). This step took Maggie and I four hours to complete from start to finish. Derrick is trying to claim some of the glory as well, probably because his step wasn't finished yet. Dry stone masonry is very frustrating because it takes so long to get perfectly matching rocks, to chink off any outcroppings to ensure the rule of "high and outside" contact points, and to get the correct angles. It is a dying artform but one that is quite historic. Many of the Roman Aquaducts and ancient buildings were done using dry stone masonry skills.
Wednesday, September 26
Leslie - "I really appreciate you letting me crash on your floor again."
Host - "No really, it isn't a big deal."
Leslie - "It is a big deal. I mean you are letting a homeless person stay at your place. That's huge!"
Host - "Whatever. You are much better than a homeless person. You are way safer."
Tuesday, September 25
This week I counted down the days, remembering the final moments of last year's journey. I could almost smell the damp, cool air of the last few miles of the 100 mile wilderness. I could almost hear the excited murmurs of the thru-hikers as their insane dream became a reality. I could almost feel all of the emotions that ran deep that day; the sadness, the joy, the weariness, the triumph.
A quote from Henry David Thoreau that has been an inspiration to me: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined".
Sunday, September 16
- our hike each day passesd by Mystic Falls, a fifty foot waterfall, along with a dozen or so thermal features of various colors (hotsprings, hot spots, geysers)
- coconut shrimp curry (prepared by Joe our youngest crew member, age 20)
- meat-fest twice during our eight day hitch (consisting of elk burgers, beef sticks, smoked ham, bacon, and redneck sausages)
- ravens methodically picked apart our bagged trash that we had stashed on top of the rig for disposal, later (oops, good thing the park rangers didn't see that! Would have been a hefty fine!)
- rogue coyote stalks into our camp one night searching for food...and the soon there after howl right outside of my tent (I almost peed myself)
- retrained in the art of felling trees and fell two myself, as well as a good days work of bucking and limbing fallen trees
- our Yellowstone Parks technical advisor suggested a sweet backpacking trip in southwest Yellowstone, got us the permit, and lent us his personal map
- lost my camera at the Old Faithful Inn, discovered it two days later, and it had already been found, catalogued, and shipped to the resort office 65 miles away (Blast, that will be a half day trip for me to get it back)
And that, my friends is a brief to do of last week's events.
Friendly. Loyal. But won't lick your face. - First Interstate Bank
There was a picture of spunky border collie with its tongue lolling to one side of his open mouth next to the slogan. It was at that moment, that I knew I picked the right bank to house my meager living stipend. I love it!
Tuesday, September 4
Monday, September 3
I'm so glad that Concord, NC was my home for five years. Thank you for inviting me into your family withouth reservation.
Sunday, September 2
Basic Incline Statistics:
- Beginning Elevation: 6,574 feet
- Ending Elevation: 8,585 feet
- Elevation Gain: 2,011 feet
- Mileage: 1 mile
- Steepest Grade: 68%
- Average Grade 41%
45 minutes after I started I had made it over the last step. Somehow I made it up the incline. Climbing over every railroad tie, gasping for breath, dripping sweat, and taking frequent breaks.
When I'm in my comfort zone, I often don't even realize it. It is only when I am out of the zone that I become conscious of it. And then it is not comfortable at all. So what is the point of the zone?
I say we kick it to the curb. Let the zone comfort others. For me? I'll deal without it!
- God loves me and has a plan for me (laid out prior to my first breath)
- God's plan is way better than my life plan
- God is waiting for me to seek him in everything
- God calls me to be a witness for him
I have lots of troubles. But my main stumbling block is my dang pride. I like to think I have it all together, I may even be sly enough to trick most people into believing that. I've always been slightly leaning to the devious side of things. Ask anyone in my family. Control is another issue for me. I like it. I like having it. I like using it for my benefit. And I usually can justify it's various uses in my day to day life. So when it comes down to surrendering to my Savior, I waver. I bob and weave. I smile and wave. I crouch and hide. But surrendering is not what I do.