Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 1

It is 9 days in and I have finally wrested away my computer from the group so here goes - the Director's Cut.

Day 1

Heritage University
We started with a hectic Monday morning - none of our gear had arrived from Sierra Trading Post (who gave us a 35% discount so we can't complain too much about the crazy delay) so UPS allowed us to come at 9 and collect all the tents, sleeping bags, stoves and everything else we ordered - so here is a big thank you to them! We were able to gather everything we needed and by 11AM - we were on the road.

While still at Heritage, the Yakama Nation Department of Natural Resources arranged for 2 speakers to come launch the kids on the field class: Steve Rigdon and Paul Ward. They set the tone for the next 14 days! It was a perfect beginning.

The students also all set up their blogs, most of them for the first time. The field blogging experiment commences!

Stop 1 - Celilo Falls Overlook
Haver Jim talked with the students about the history and cultural significance of Celilo Falls, and all that was lost when the dam went in. The students also compared the numbers of wild horses they counted on the drive over Satus Pass - the winning number over 300.

Stop 2 - Columbia Hills State Park
Our lunch stop was at Columbia Hills State Park. I used the stop to distribute all the gear we would need for the trip. Every student got a backpack, a 2-Liter water pouch, a headlamp, a water bottle from Liberty Bottles, a pair of gloves, 2 pairs of socks, a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and a tent between 2 students. They were all given field notebooks. After this bonanza, Haver led us on a walk to see the petroglyphs, finishing with She Who Watches. It was a beautiful experience for all.

Stop 3 - Warm Springs Indian Reservation
We drove in to Warm Springs pretty late on Monday, and set up our sleeping mats and bags inside the Agency Longhouse, which was opened up for us by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to use for the next 2 nights.

Notable (ish) events: the students named our 4 vehicles: War Pony, Band Wagon, White Fox, and Flaming Eagle