You may find it difficult to believe, but after living in the Bay Area for almost two years, I still hadn’t made it out to Yosemite National Park! Luckily, the folks I work with at Habitat arranged a day for us to volunteer in the park and get to stay at the luxurious volunteer campgrounds. It was a whirlwind trip, but we did some maintenance activities, hiked to water falls and made delicious tinfoil dinner packs, as well as much more. Also, my camera died! What? So I didn’t get a ton of photos, but some early morning shots of the meadow did make it.
In between my two NOLS courses, I went to the Seattle Pride parade with some fellow instructors. It was the weekend after the Supreme Court ruled to grant the right to same sex marriage in all 50 states — you remember this now, but this is context for 10 or 20 years from now ;). This meant that everyone at the parade was extremely excited, happy and decked out in rainbows!
After the build-a-thon, I traveled up to Washington to spend some time in the mountains with a group of 14-15 year old boys from Texas. They were with a program called C5, and they came to NOLS to help them become “challenge ready.” Well, challenge accepted.
I was in the Cascades, near Lake Wenatchee, and we had a great time. We made it up to the summit of Kodak Mountain where there was a 360 degree view, and a pile of snow! The tail end of our course was more of the style that included bushwhacking for 10 hours a day for two days in a row to get out to our car… in the end we did make it, and no one got lost in the weeds over our heads. There had been a fire a few years back, and we had to navigate the down logs and the regrowing underbrush! All in all, it was worth it! And the boys said the same thing (after their showers).
Or the BFFB! After flying home from the AmeriCorps build-a-thon, we changed gears for our own framing blitz! It was full time prep the week we got back. Cutting studs, stacking piles of lumber and plywood, finding hardware and making the site ready to be inundated with over one hundred volunteers a day. We started at the subfloor, and by the end of the four days, we had trusses rolled on all of the seven houses.
I was working on the women’s build house. We had all women house leaders and crew leaders, and mostly all women building the house. I was a great time getting to work with so many other wonderful women and of course all the volunteers! The last day it was over 100 degrees, and some of the other highlights include Eric, who handed out popsicles with his stuffed manatee, the nailing competition, and the pirate flag that was the official flag for the women’s build house. That’s right, I thought it was appropriate too.