Hello from the Ebel crew! It’s been a bit since I’ve blogged, but I only have more progress to report! We’ve been diligently working on a few new skills, as well as starting our dehydrating.We spent Sunday night learning paddle strokes. After learning the proper way to hold a paddle, we started off with the power stroke. We had a lot of fun learning how to put our whole core into the strokes (complete with grunts as sound effects) and how to properly recover from our paddle stroke!  We also learned corrective strokes that will be used by the paddler in stern. The J-stroke and C-stroke will allow us to keep a straight course while paddling without slowing our momentum. I saw some awesome paddle strokes, and I’m really excited to get on the water! We will of course need practice, but I think we’re going to have a full crew of great paddlers!

On Monday night, we started dehydrating. We set up shop at the Kruchten’s and got straight to business washing, slicing, and drying our peaches. It was important to get them in quickly, as 12-14 hours later they had to be checked and taken off the dehydrator. This resulted in a bright and early crew meeting at 5:30 am. Everyone showed up and sleepily sorted fully dehydrated peaches from the still unfinished remainder. A few girls decided to nap on the floor while waiting for the peaches to be done. Over the course of the next 2-3 weeks we will be dehydrating most of the fruit and veggies that we bring on trail, as well as the beef jerky and hamburger. We might even throw a few oranges on the dehydrator and see what happens!

We’ve been plugging away with our route planning in the mean time as well. We are nearly finished and excited for our plans! We will likely finish it off this weekend and hold a meeting with Fred to look over our route and take any suggestions he has for us. Fred knows the area better than the back of his hand, and will be able to highlight interesting features of our route, give us an idea whether our time estimates are okay, and possibly suggest a few changes based on our interests!

Thursday night was spent learning how to properly set up a tarp. We learned that it’s important to pay attention to small details like the direction of the wind, the distance from the fire, and the height of low hanging branches in order to set up an effective tarp and keep it from getting damaged. We were able to use a few of the knots we had learned previously to construct our tarp. We threw in a nice trucker’s hitch to cinch our ridge-line and keep our tarp from drooping in the middle and used the bowline knot to attach our p-cords to the corners of the tarp and pull it tight. All in all we set up a very impressive tarp. This skill will be really important to know when it comes to setting up our camp at night and for solo day!

We’re in for another busy week here, but we’re looking forward to paddling, our crew sleepover, and purchasing our boots! Parents, it was great to meet you all at our parent meeting this Wednesday. I look forward to seeing you at a few of our events later on!