Friday, May 29, 2009


So I finally made it to a library and a free computer. We have a computer at the base camp, but it's a communal one, and I don't feel right taking up so much time on it. So I drove to the not-so-tiny town next door and found the library, which is quaint and awesome. They have cats. Just walking around and following the patrons. I've seen two so far, one black with green eyes who looks just like my cat at home and another who's got some white patches and is chubbier. They're both really subdued and let you pet them. But enough about the cats!

So what have I been up to? Orientation was last Wednesday to Friday at a camp in southern Maine. We learned some first aid, did some team-building things. On Friday morning we finally learned who would be on our teams for the summer and what our projects would be. Then they let us loose for the weekend! So I spent Friday night and Saturday with my mom and aunt in Auburn and Boothbay. We went on a whale tour, on which I promptly got seasick. Not too bad, but enough to make me nauseated and sleepy the rest of the day. I got some good pictures though!

Sunday, I drove over to the Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor area to meet up with a few people in my group. We camped in Lamoine State Park, right near the water, and I grabbed some nice shots of the sunset. On my way from Augusta to Bar Harbor, I passed at least eight used book stores. I wanted to stop at all of them! I ended up stopping at one, which was this huge, three-story barn that sold antiques as well as used books. They had some signed Terry Goodkind books, which would have been really neat to have, but they also would have made a nice little dent into my budget.

Wednesday, we reported back to HQ and drove to our base camp. We actually got to work with tools yesterday, and we learned to side hill, dig water bars, and dig ditches and drains. Woo.

About base camp - it's a sheep farm. There aren't sheep there yet, but there are supposed to be by next week. We have lofted tents and cots, which is a bit nicer and feels a bit more permanent than sleeping on the ground. As I mentioned before, there's a computer. There's also wireless internet, which is no use to me since I did not bring my computer. With such decent technology, you'd think they'd have nice facilities as well. But we've got three outhouses and no showers. I used to joke about taking weekly showers and now that's coming back to bite me in the butt. Our work schedule is Saturday to Wednesday, so when we get back from our work/camp sites on Wednesday afternoon, they take us to the local YMCA to get showers and do laundry. Sounds like heaven, right?

We pack up tonight for our first assignment, which is at Rainbow Lake on the AT. Our gear's getting flown in (we have to hike), which is pretty cool, but we have to lug it all back out, so we'll see how that goes . . . I think that's it for now. I'm going to explore the library a bit more!

A few random things before I go: There are Moose crossing signs on the highway. Yeah, I'm going to need a little sticker or magnet of one for a souvenir, lol. And in Augusta, there was an AHOP - Augusta House of Pancakes. How fantastic is that? Haha, until next time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Finally arrived after 14 hours. I think the sun is coming up! I have to be there by 8, so I've got two hours of sleep ahead of me. Woo.

Monday, May 18, 2009



I'm going away for the summer, from Pennsylvania to Maine, and I figured I would give blogging a shot, thinking it'd help me to keep in touch with family and friends. I'm working in an Americorps conservation program, and I'm not exactly sure how much computer access I'll have. But hopefully I'll be able to update fairly regularly through text messages, just to let you know what kind of work I'm doing and how I'm faring.

What's on the agenda: a twelve-hour car trip tomorrow (so I can have the car for the summer and explore the gorgeous state of Maine on my days off), and then a three-day orientation. (Please, no icebreakers involving "a word that describes you that also starts with the first letter of your name.) Also, the orientation includes a full day of First Aid/CPR. I hope there's nothing about getting limbs cut off. I'm a little squeamish . . .

My mom and aunt are driving up with me (and flying back), so they get to go to Bar Harbor, ME while I'm in orientation. I'm jealous. That is one of the first towns on my list of places to visit. Apparently they have whale watching tours and a ferry to Nova Scotia (Canada is awesome). Another city on my list is Camden. While shopping for steel-toed boots, I met a nice gentleman who hailed from Maine. His sister owns a store called The Smiling Cow, which apparently has a beautiful view from the back porch.

How I've done so far: The program sent an equipment list (full page front and back), so between the last day of school (which was only a week ago) and today, my mom and I have tried to gather everything I've needed. The hardest thing was probably my steel-toed boots. I have big feet for a girl, and there wasn't enough time to order any in my size. So I was forced to buy men's boots, but getting a boot that fit my feet longways and width-ways was tricky. I ended up going to (only) two stores and trying on about ten pairs before I found a relatively good fit. The good news is now I've got sturdy boots that'll get me a good decade of wear.

It turns out I'm not the best packer either. I kind of knew this from moving in and out of college - I tend to toss a bunch of loose things into boxes. My spatial skills aren't the best, so we'll see how long I last when I'm out on my own and have to find things at the bottom of my pack! The worst part of packing? Deciding which books to take. The one I absolutely could not leave behind was Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens. But it's massive - 844 pages - and it's going to be a pain to try to shove into my pack. I have no doubt that I will eventually end up sacrificing something vital in order to have my Charles Dickens, though. :)

But really, who can live without Charles Dickens? From here on out, I'll do my best to update often. I'll probably update from the road tomorrow. Until then, live long and prosper.