Saturday, August 19, 2017

Journal #6

Location: Lake Ann, Hartwick Pines State Park
Author: Bob Schnoes

We spent a weary night of battling an army of blood suckers that wanted to make us their next meal. The enemy had the advantage being better equipped than us, coming at us with their sharp claws and point teeth, but we put up a fierce resistance and with the rising of the sun we were victorious, having beaten back the enemy and forcing them to retreat.
            The morning was a peaceful one, with no signs that a great battle just took place there. Even the occupants resting safely in the inner sanctuary had no idea of the horrific attack they were spared from. But even with our accomplishments going unrecognize, we will continue to battle on. For we are warriors, fighting in a war called ECOEE and not a single one of us will give up or fall, no matter what it throws against us.
            After licking our wounds, we sat down to what was the best breakfast so far this ECOEE, even the parents that had the misfortune of giving birth to our fearless leader, complimented the cook. Once our bellies were filled with the needed nourishment to keep us battling on, we packed up the trailer. This has become second nature to some of us now, even though it has only been a few days, it feels like we have packed this trailer hundreds of times already. But thanks to the organizational skills of Jeff, or should we say his OCD, every item has its proper place and that makes loading up the trailer that go rather quickly.

            Our next destination was Lake Ann Camp. We had two reasons for stopping here, first was for Jeff to give us a tour of the facilities. The second reason was for an interview, one of our is applying for an internship here and we are all hoping the best for her. The next stop was going to be the dunes in Michigan, but due to weather we decided to skip them and head straight to Hartwick Pines State Park. It was here that we would make camp for the night and it was here where I made the mistake of volunteering for extra work. What was I thinking….

Journal #5

Location: Horn Field Campus, Ray Gator's home (Rockford, MI)
Author: Ashley Demers

Dreading to wake up before the sunrise after a long stressful night of packing. Today was finally the day we got on the road. Trying to eat breakfast with a belly full of butterflies was a harder task than I thought. Thinking about this drive I knew it was going to be a long drive in the vans. We grabbed our belongings and hopped in the vans. As we pulled out of Horn Field Campus and soon out of Macomb, the anxious excitement of ECOEE started to hit me. With all this excitement of traveling I couldn’t fall asleep right away. I tried to focus on reading and looking over assignments, but I couldn’t even do that. My mind was on Canada and only that. I kept telling myself; we’re going to Canada finally, we’re actually on the road.
Jeff was right when he said most people just sleep in the vans. At some point I’m pretty sure we all dozed off for some short time. Miles later, we finally crossed into Michigan, where we met Jeff’s one and only friend, Ray. We ate an amazing meal I’ve never had before, Chinese hamburger, sadly I forgot to ask Jeff’s mom for the recipe. Ray’s home is hidden in the woods and oh so pretty. He showed us around and taught us about some animals and their habitats. Oh and don’t let me forget he fooled us! He made us believe there were fireflies mating in the tree, when actually it was a projector. Today was a great first start on the road; I can’t wait to see what the future has in stored for us.

“ A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power, but because of it’s persistence.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Journal #4

Author: Tracy Ellis
Location: Horn Field Campus

This Tuesday was one filled with many emotions. With only one day left to pack everything up that we could possibly need for Canada, time was of the essence. So naturally that means everything should become hectic and things should go wrong. But in this chaotic day, our group became closer and we took the positive power of Mike Dennis to heart.
            Today began with an extremely positive attitude for me. We were finally packing our bags to leave the Hornfield Island! Although, it quickly turned stressful when some of us realized that we didn’t have the right clothes and equipment and now needed to purchase more. Not only that, but we also had to stuff and shove every little thing into a not so giant river bag. The thought of forgetting something that you may need really weighs down the mood. Spirits were beginning to fall. After hours and hours of packing, stuffing, repacking, and stressing, we had an aggressive bear come through camp, but no worries, Julia sprayed it with bear spray and camp was safe again. *Disclaimer: there was no real bear, only malfunctioning equipment*
            Spirits began to lift again as we were figuring everything out and talking each other through this process of packing. This was until we got the heart breaking news that one of our family members is no longer able to come with us. Mike has been the rock that we all needed to turn every situation into a good one. His positive vibe and willingness to help everyone will now be a missing piece to our puzzle. He is already so dearly missed.
            After a great dinner and two hours in Walmart, ECOEE 2017 is nearly ready to show the big bad river what we can do. This determined group is set out to do just what Mike told us to: break records.
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn    on the light.”
-   J.K Rowling
(Harry Potter)


Monday, August 14, 2017

Journal #3

Author: Sean Dowling
Location: Horn Field Campus

I woke up well rested after  along day of canoeing and I couldn't help but think that I only had two more nights that I would be able to enjoy a bed. Just two more days I could use to prepare for Canada! As I tried to get as much work done as I could this morning before pulling our rations, I wondered how I was possibly going to do it. I guess Jeff was right about staying on top of our homework... With a good breakfast and another day of good company those thoughts quickly faded and the excitement returned. As we pulled our rations the excitement just continued to grow. It's all coming together and soon we'll see how well we cook in the backcountry. with how well we work together and help each other out I feel confident that we'll have maybe one or two meals that will be rough going down but that's why we have hot sauce. Even if one of us makes a mistake I know that person will not be ridiculed... but we may get teased a little. Our group has proven to be very supportive on multiple occasions but today we proved it even more at today's dinner. We could have chosen to be picky when Bob warned us about his mistake when cooking but all I saw was full plates as everyone got their food and we all ended up giving nothing but compliments and reassurance. On our first day Jeff warned us that these five days at Horn Field would feel like a month but so far I have felt quite the opposite. Like they say, time flies when you're having fun. There is no doubt in my mind that any hardships and struggles that we may encounter will be overcome by the fun and growth that will come from ECOEE!

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Journal #2

Author: Michael Dennis
Location: Horn Field

Day 2 of ECOEE began at 6:30 A.M. to the sound you of people getting things ready for the day and the smell of pancakes.  During breakfast I thought to myself how this day is going to go? I knew it would be fun no matter what Jeff may throw at us! I was right… I learned how to take care of the van which was a refresher for me.  Then we moved on to spring Lake for our next exciting lesson… canoeing!  At first Jeff asked us who thinks they are a canoe person?  Having done it before I raised my hand.  But after getting out there and sitting in the bow of the boat thinking I want to sit in the stern.  I wasn’t ready to try and learn a new position in the canoe.  But after an hour I started to get the hang of it a started to have fun learning the numerous techniques to controlling the canoe.  As the day went on the communication between the team got better and if it stays on the up and up I cannot wait to this journey with them.

Journal #1

Author: Kara Sahagian
Location: Horn Field Campus

I woke up this morning realizing that this trip was not just a fantasy or a dream, ECOEE 2017 was happening and it was happening today!
At 11:00am we started our ECOEE 2017 adventure out at Horn Field Campus. It was great to see everyone’s face again and share things we did over the summer as well as learn what we were all excited about to see while on our trip.
As we sat down and Jeff talked for what seemed like half a day, all the stress and anxiety hit me like a thousand-pound weight on my head.
A few thoughts that went through my mind were: “We are actually doing this….”We are really going to be on ECOEE for 4 months…”, and I am so not going to remember all of this information.”
We learned a lot today and yet I still feel unprepared. One thing that I did learn today is that I am so excited for this crazy adventure we call ECOEE. It is so comforting knowing that we are all in this together.
Day one of ECOEE 2017 is complete!
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure” – Chris McCandless

Let the adventure begin!