Been a while since my last update, so here’s the broad strokes.
Had a great time, mostly because I got to hang out with jormundgan and the rest of Clan_Sidhefire. I mostly agree with goldfish42 that the camp itself didn’t really do much for me, and I would have had just as much (or more) fun hanging out with the Clan in Rainier. The pool was also a lot of fun, and it is amazing to me how much more comfortable I am in the water these days compared to a couple years ago. And one more notable thing: the outdoor showers were awesome. This is high on my list for when I get my own property. An outdoor shower is priority. There were a particular set of showers out behind the Longhouse where a beautiful spider was weaving her web one morning. I stood in the warm shower, in the dappled green shade, and watched the whole process. Beautiful.
Wilderness Awareness School Kid’s Camp at Seward Park: I can only imagine how fabulous my life would be if I got to do this for a living. More about that later. Daniel is brilliant at 10-year old humor. Turns out that my inner 10-year old has quite a sense of humor also, and I am sad that this is Daniel’s last summer with the camps since I would love to learn more from him. Every part of the camp was awesome, from the instructors all bringing our minds together every morning by saying something we were feeling thankful for, to scrambling around in the dirt with the kids. I think we were all a little sad to say goodbye at the end of the week, and we lingered long after we had separated our minds.
A couple of highlights from the camp: Teaching the kid’s “body radar” to tell the difference in energy fields between metal and rock, or to tell when someone is lying, or to tell when someone is pointing at you when you’re blindfolded. So many games of Eagle Eye and Firekeeper (my favorites, and the kid’s also). Riddle after riddle (what’s behind the green glass door? Bang, bang, bang, who’d I kill? This is how you play the game, this is 1, this is 2…). The kids finding my hat after 4 days, and then not being able to convince them that I didn’t plant it there on purpose just to challenge them, so I didn’t have to admit that I had just lost it on Monday. Daniel eating chicken nuggets while telling a week-long story about how he accidentally killed Survival Chicken (his rubber chicken). Kids wanting to snuggle up next to me at story time. There are so many more cool things, but not time or energy to write them all up just now. I’m sure that many of them have started trains of thought and action that will come up in future stories.
Preston and I spent last weekend camped on the beach at La Push. It was totally awesome. My new tent kicks ass. Preston’s new surfboard is pretty cool also, and he even got up on a wave once on Sunday. And I happened to be there with the camera so we got a picture of it. I had got an idea from one of the WAS folks a while ago about how to make a beach hot tub. So Preston dug a pit about 4 feet deep and about 4’x2’ in the sand. We put a tarp in it and filled it with seawater. We kept a fire going most of the day to heat rocks in. Once the rocks were glowing hot, we put them in the water. It took a couple hours to get the water up to a good temperature. The timing was perfect, so that just as it got dark the water was warm enough for us to get naked and sit in the tub for a while. It took us a while to get the temp moderated, and Preston spent quite a while just passing warm rocks in to me, while I relaxed all stretched out in the pit. Really nice. The next morning, I messed with the fire and got things warmed up while Preston was out surfing, so when he was done he could just strip off his wetsuit and get in the warm water for a while. Was really proud of myself for my progress with firestarting. I challenged myself with a “5-minute fire” drill (something I learned from WAS). I cheated slightly, as Preston had already cut a bunch of driftwood rounds, but I gathered tinder and started both fires without paper. Definitely progress for me.
We stopped in Port Angeles on our way home to eat lunch. We were eating our sandwiches on top of on overlook and met this funny crazy lady from Birmingham. She was visiting her sister in PA, and was thinking of moving to Seattle. Preston gave her our contact info in case she wanted to get in touch with us.
Woke up a little stressed out since I planned to resign from my job today. Preston woke up a little stressed out about other issues and that led to a bit of conflict this morning, but I think we resolved that. I gave my notice this morning, my boss responded that she was very sorry to hear that, but she understood my need to follow my passion. That was the best possible response. (The response I was worried I would get: “Well, actually, while you were on vacation for a week, we realized that you don’t actually do anything here and that you spend all day writing e-mail and updating your lj, so you can just clear out your desk today.”) Everyone seems sad to hear that I am leaving, and that’s very flattering. I was describing to a co-worker what I want to pursue, and she said, “It sounds like you need more people and more dirt.” I thought that was a pretty good way to describe it.