Strong gusts of cool wind buffeted us this morning and blew sand in our faces, tearing down the canyon in bursts from North to South. The trees creaked and groaned intimidatingly around us, and intermittent clouds hid us from much of the Sun’s warmth. Our words scattered and were lost as soon as they left our mouths, and even loud footfalls and swishing Gor-Tex layers were inaudible, so we decided to play some visual sneaking games. After we practiced moving without being seen, we turned to the South and hiked up into the hills for some fun in the woods.
As we walked along a narrow valley in the hogback, we became separated into two groups. Feeling playful, the first group decided to hide and sneak up on the second. After going out of sight over a small hill in the trail, the first group faded into some bushes to the side of the trial and waited for the second to pass. After they had passed, the first group of boys shadowed them by following amid the pines along the hillside as the second group walked the trail at the bottom of the valley. When the fun was done, we rejoined each other to share gratitude and have a snack in the forest, the wind still ripping around us. Afterward, we tested our camouflage skills with the game “Eagle Eye,” and got ready for a scouting challenge. The boys would make their way back down the valley to the ti pi in teams, without being “busted” (caught) by any of the Instructors following them through the woods.
When we arrived at the ti pi for lunch, we were pleasantly surprised by the bright-shining Sun, which broke through the clouds, calmed the wind and remained framed in a blue sky to warm our bodies for the rest of the beautiful day. Summit, Kaya and Quinn made a flint and steel fire to sit around at lunch and we spent the rest of the day gratefully soaking up the Sun’s rays, playing in the creek making small dams out of flood rocks.
Next week, we hope that the wind will be calm enough for us to continue working with fire, crafting bow-drill kits and practicing with flint and steel.
See you then!