Friday, June 12, 2015

Frontenac Hiking Trip Reflection

Frontenac Hiking Trip Reflection

- Jessica Lennon

Overall, this was an amazing trip that I would definitely do again if given the opportunity. It was something I had never done before and it was a great chance to get experience. We made mistakes along the way, but we learned from them and ensured they didn't happen again. 

I missed a lot of the planning for the trip because I was on a vacation with my family, so I only had a couple of days to get packed and gather all the gear the group needed. I felt like I had under-packed because the group had already gotten most the equipment we needed. After getting to school we re-packed our bags and moved some gear around so that everyone's bags were approximately the sane weight.

I didn't really know how to tighten my bag properly so that the weight of my pack was evenly distributed on my shoulders and hips. A bunch of people tried helping me tighten it but it didn't seem to work. At the beginning of the trip Mr. Brower instructed us to meet him at a fork in the path not to far into the path and that whole time I was thinking to myself I wouldn't be able to do this trip because my pack was way to heavy. Once we got to the stop and were waiting for him I asked Mrs. Trumpower if she could help me and once she did I barely felt the pack on my back.

We didn't have many problems on the first day, other than Katrina falling into the lake while she was filling up her water bottle. That was by far the best moment of the entire trip, I don't think I have ever laughed in my entire life. I also wore a sweater and sweat pants that day, which was not a good idea because it got pretty warm out. We decided to go to the father campsite, because we heard the sunset there was amazing, and we had three groups that were sharing equipment so it was just easier for us to continue going.

Once we got to the campsite we set up our tent and made dinner, chicken stir fry, which was absolutely delicious. We made two batches because the pan wasn't big enough for all of it at once. Everything went smoothly, we did our dishes right away and tidied up and spent the rest of the night around the fire with the group. Around 11 pm we hung up our food, which went super well at night but getting it down in the morning was really hard because we used the double figure eight knot which wasn't the best idea.

In the morning we all helped with our decedent breakfast of scrambled eggs, which we later realized was not a good idea because we were rushing in the end to be packed up and ready on time. Considering that we actually got packed up pretty quickly and I changed into shorts and T-shirt knowing that even though it is cold in the morning it will warm up during the day. The second day of the trip felt super short as it was almost 5 km less than the first day and the trail was much more flat than the first day.

Once we got to the lookout my group stayed for a couple minutes but then decided we should go down to the campsite to set up and start working on lunch because we were hungry. We were the first ones to head down, didn't have a map and completely missed the sign saying campsite 5 --> so we went for probably a good 1.5 km passed the campsite and were trying to figure out how the boys went this far and got back to the lookout in 5 minutes. Eventually we turned back around and got to the campsite way later than everyone else. We felt pretty dumb. We learned to not go anywhere without a map.

We spent the rest of that day eating and sitting by the fire and just hanging out. I went swimming for 1.5 seconds, it was a terrible idea as the water felt like it was -2452 degrees. We couldn't find a really good branch to hang our food on and we definitely tried hanging them way to late in the night. There were raccoon's everywhere, and one of our ropes snapped and a bag came crashing down to the ground. You could tell we were all getting annoyed and just wanted to go to bed and not deal with it. But we rehung it and learned that we need to start hanging the food earlier and on better branches.

In the morning half our group made the pancakes and the other half packed everything up and cleaned. We ended up leaving late in the morning because we had to lean up around the campsite, the other class had left a ton of garbage all around. The last day was pretty good, we were all excited to reach plumbing and showers. The hike went pretty fast and at that point I didn't even care about walking through water anymore.

 I'm grateful for all the knowledge and experience I gained. I would try to pack my pack more efficiently, I definitely over packed. I also learned that not everyone needs to cook at the same time and you can get things done more quickly and efficiently, that will be helpful in the future. Finding a good food hanging branch as early as possible is something I will keep in mind from now on. Overall I had an amazing trip, it was so incredibly fun and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I would definitely do it again if I was given the chance.

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