My workbench

My workbench

Sunday, February 27, 2011

WFR and post-WFR celebrations.

I am sitting using internet in my van in a shopping plaza behind McDonalds. It's sunny 28(F) out, and I'm relaxing.

Wednesday saw the practical exam for the Wilderness First Responder course. We all passed, though I did get a bit concerned (unnecessarily) at one point. I feel like the info I learned in the course can be, well, useful if needed. That's not to say that I hope to be involved in more accidents, but I'm glad to be able to help a bit more.

After we cleaned up the ranch where the WFR course had taken place, a few gentle locals were taking a victory lap on Glory. I'd heard of this, one of the shorter hikes from the top of Teton Pass, and I was quickly invited. After fumbling with resetting my bindings after "loaning" them, we packed seven people plus gear into a Toyota pickup and drove to the top of the pass. An hour-long hike laker, with myself and another the last two of seven, we settled into a small tarp and snow shelter on the peak to escape the blowing wind. An absolutely incredible thigh-deep-powder hour took us to the bottom. I can't get into that now, or I'll get distracted.

That night I borrowed a pass from Derek to Grand Targhee, for riding on Thursday. Crashed back at the ranch...

Thursday I woke up, warmed my van, didn't really look too closely behind, and began backing up. I backed right into a snowbank. I then proceeded to take close to an hour attempting to shovel myself out before a guy came to walk his dog. He quickly pulled me out using his truck, and I began backing in to the ranch driveway so that I might drive straight. I promptly backed into another snowbank. The same guy pulled me out, again, and was really chill. He showed me a few campsites I can use (with running water/toilet) for my return in the summer, as well as a spot i could always park in his driveway for a night.

I drove Derek to Idaho Falls that night, let him crash in my bed, and slept the morning of Friday in Idaho Falls.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WFR and leadup

So I've been taking the Wilderness First responder (WFR) for the past four has been incredible. Throughout my travels, growing up with Spike, interacting with various medical professionals and backcountry enthusiasts, I have gained quite the understanding of injuries of treatments. For the first time, I am able to collate everything into one single system, gaining the ability to discern what may actually be wrong, and, as the course continues, how to treat the various injuries and ailments. This is invaluable, both for my backcountry experience, and more importantly to the "alternative" culture to which I belong.

There are a limited number of so-called "street medics," people with varying levels of medical training, whom offer to assist those "on the street." I was fortunate in April of 2009 to meet Finn, one such individual. He was the true inspiration for me to take this course, giving me the realization that it is possible to really help those around me (in this case, homeless/vagabonds/nomads/etc) without "formal" medical training. While I am by no means a qualified instructor, by the end of the course I will, at the very least, be able to pass on the information that I have attained (at a cost of nearly $800, and two weeks) to those unable to afford what I can. This makes me smile greatly.

In addition to the course, I have had a lot of fun over the past week or two. In Eugene, OR I got to hang out with my friends Fiona and EV, whom I originally know from Mount Holyoke College/IOCA. I was actually threatened with trampling with crampons if I did *NOT* sleep on their floor, which made sleeping outside of the van an easy decision. I love friends whom threaten violence unless I do something which will, ultimately, result in more comfort for me. I've got incredible friends.
After Eugene, I was supposed to head to Portland for a day, followed by a road trip to Eugene. Portland was just a short stop, meeting a relatively random indivudual thanks to the wonders of social networking and the internet. We ended up meeting at a bar in South Portland around 7PM, and I didn't hit the road until 3PM the next day. My new friend Meghan is absolutely awesome, and I haven't met someone with a mind like that since...well, a certain friend whom keeps running away from me in Europe.

So, now I am in Victor, Idaho. It's cold, like Big sky. 9 degress F at night, etc, lots of snow, the works. It is a town of nearly 900 people, but it seems rather incredible. I have most certainly added Victor to my list of places to chill this summer, judging only from the number of climbers, mountaineers, snowboarders, and other back-country enthusiassts i have met over the past few days.

Speaking of which, I got invited to a party tonight by one of the locals...

I might blog the results, we'll see. Love y'all, and Happy Birthday (belated) to Lisa, my beautiful and wonderful mother. Gifts are on the way!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Made It

Fiona and Eevy did a great job of making me forget about Colleen, and then Meghan did her damndest to make me forget about prettymuch everything else. I'm now in Victor, Idaho at my WFR course. The drive was grueling, I was two hours late, but I didn't really miss anything significant and can't wait to finish up this program. Colorado Springs is likely after this, and hence afterwards a Return Trip to Big Sky to see friends before their season ends. The Melt in Yosemite and beyond; all on the horizon.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

WWOOFing in Lancom, OR

This woman did not understand the concept of speaking civilly to another human being, nor did she seem to understand my level of intelligence is higher than a fence post. To top it off, she actually made me lose my temper! That hasn't happened since I last saw Sara...

"I've been hauling a trailer for seventeen years" (And you still haven't figured out how to back one up?!)
"I was riding bikes before you were born" (yet you don't believe that they can hold over two hundred pounds?)
"I know that you've never been around horses before, so don't be nervous" (after I explained growing up down the street from the Murhpy's horse place)
"I believe in doing the minimal effort" (while owning/operating a ranch...)
"I recycle!" (After I throw the third 30 gallon sack full of nylon hay ties into the garbage dump)
"I've been hosting WWOOFers for twenty years" (And yet only had a ranch for seventeen...And in all those years, never learned to talk to someone in a civil tone)
"I've owned golf carts for years, I know what I'm talking about." My response: "Colleen, I've been tinkering with electronics before you owned a golf cart"
"I've got a degree in Enviornmental Science"..."I've got a degree in Landscape Architecture" ... "I've got a degree in Landscape management" ... "I've got a degree in Ecological studies" (And sadly, after all that college, couldn't even figure out what you studied.
"Safety is very important to me, that's why I don't let anyone use power tools on my ranch" (After I ask if she wants me to use MY DRILL to put in a SCREW)
"WOW it's cold today" (40F...)
"I hope it doesn't rain like it did last winter" (in central Oregon)

Suffice it to say, I won't be back, nor will I leave a flattering reference.

This has seriously soured my opinion of WWOOFing in the US. I shall now proceed to Eugene, OR, where Fiona, DirtyFeet, and Ninkasi (A brewery) await me. This unwinding may be turbulent.


Acts change facts - Ten days at SPCC from Brussels_commons on Vimeo.

SPCC is the squat I hung out at least year before and after the Hitchgathering in Portugal. I've mentioned it in posts back in mid-August (we were building a swimming pool), but I found this video explaining a bit more about it, and figured I'd share.

P.S. mom, I was planning a personal post, but I'll hold off for a few days. The "I told you so" from you relates to how I've been talked down to for nearly a week.