Two States, Two Wildly Different Locations!

Hello Northwest B Blog Readers!

We’ve been on the move and seeing some amazing sights the past 6 days! We spent Oct 5-7 in the sublime Glacier National Park and Oct 8-11 in and around Leavenworth, WA. Leavenworth is a small Bavarian town hidden in central Washington. Although we rented an AirBnb outside of Leavenworth, we went into town for an evening of schnitzel, pretzels and bratwurst.

Our curriculum during this section was a mix of reflection and preparation. For preparation, we read some articles from the Course Reader that focused on Permaculture Farming (which will be our next module). Permaculture is a mixture of “permanent’ and “agriculture”, a way to make harvesting food sustainable and long lasting. We will delve into the principles of permaculture more in the next week, but the curriculum session was useful preparation.

We also read an article introducing Washington State, or as it’s known ‘the Evergreen State’. We learned that parts of Washington are a rainforest and Seattle is home to both a huge immigrant population and some of the worlds most influential tech companies.

Perhaps a little too late, but we read an article introducing Montana, the state we had just left. ‘Big Sky Country’ is home to some famous mega-fauna such as elk, grizzly bear, wolves and bison.

Since our semester frequents national parks we read a sobering article on some of the ethnic cleansing involved in establishing the national parks. Although it is great that the land is protected for the flora and fauna (as well as for “the benefit and enjoyment of the people”), we must recognize that the land originally belonged to someone else. We learned this initially in Yellowstone, the symbol for the National Parks Service is an Arrowhead with a bison, mountain and Sequoia tree inscribed.

For some more insight into the past 6 days let’s turn to our student Leaders of the Week, Keagan and Ian:

Keagan on the food we cooked up in our AirBnb outside of Leavenworth: “During our first few days in Washington we had the opportunity to stay at an Airbnb in Manson. The 4 triple bunk beds in one room provided great opportunity for bonding. We took full advantage of the kitchen making huge meals including pancakes, eggs, bacon, cake, apple pie, burgers, and cinnamon roll brownies. On day 2 of staying in the Airbnb Sophie and Rob gave us all a break from cook crew and made us delicious Mexican meals. For breakfast we had Chilaquiles and Enjitomatadas for lunch. The only problem we came across was that we lacked a blender to make salsa. Luckily our friendly neighbor Patty lent us one for the day! Cooking in a kitchen was a nice change, allowing us to broaden our horizons and experiment. We even got in our fruits and veggies… no scurvy here!”

Ian on our drive to Glacier National Park: “On October 5, our group left our campground in Gardiner, Montana and drove 7 hours to a campsite just outside of WhiteFish, Montana. Our campsite was situated on a beautiful lake and we were all excited to have laundry, flush toilets, and showers. We stayed there for three nights and had some amazing meals, which included chicken parmigiana, lasagna, and quesadillas. We also had amazing weather and hung out as a group around the fire each night, which was very peaceful.”

Keagan on our epic game of Capture the Flag: “Our Airbnb in Manson was on a giant apple orchard which we took full advantage of! Not only did we eat TONS of apples, it was a great setting for group games. The fan favorite being capture the flag. On Friday afternoon we played 5 games in a row, switching up teams and sides for fair play. The competitive sides of everyone came out, but in a great nature or fun and friendly competition. Having an opportunity to run around (in low altitude) was much needed for everyone. Rob showed off his stealthiness by crawling on the ground attempting to get behind the other team, Pearson showed off his athletic side and speed, and Kit took advantage of her ability to mess with the opponents mind in Rock Paper Scissors. Running around playing a simple game was a great break for everyone’s mind and made to be an amazing afternoon.”

Ian on the two hikes that Leaders of the Week planned in Glacier National Park:
“We completed two amazing hikes during our stay in glacier national park. On the first full day, we spent the afternoon hiking to Virginia Falls. It was a six mile hike that took us to the largest waterfall in the national park. For the majority of the hike, we were walking along a beautiful mountain lake and we saw two other waterfalls before reaching our destination. On the second full day, we embarked on an 11.5 mile hike on the famous High Line Trail in Glacier National Park. Our group made it to the top of Swiftcurrent lookout, which was one of the most beautiful mountain views a lot of us had ever seen. It was fascinating to see how the glaciers that our Yellowstone guides talked about carved out this amazing mountain range.”

Next, were headed to the Learning Center for a module on Permaculture Farming. You can expect the next blog on Oct 16 or 17th!

All our best,
Sophie and Rob