Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Backcountry Diva

Hey Friends! This will be my last blog before I begin my trek up the Colorado mountains with the Southwest Conservation Corps.
As I check and double-check my packing and equipment list that was given to me by SCC, I thought it may be entertaining to see what I am bringing for a 60 day backcountry working/living/sleeping/eating experience.

Just looking over this list makes me SUPER excited, nervous, and nauseous. By participating in this program, I have a feeling that it will provide me with exactly what I am looking for: a fresh perspective, a chance to help the environment, a change in living, and an opportunity to meet more really incredible people. I may die from altitude sickness, or chop off my leg with a chain saw, but overall, I still cant get the smile off my face!!!!!!!

High-traction, weatherproof hiking boots
Rain Gear
Wool Socks
Long Underwear
Safety Glasses
Quick-Dry Pants
Backpack – internal frame 55L
Sleeping bag with compression sack
Sleeping pad
Water bottles
Stuff sack for food
Day pack
Lunch Tupperware
Warm hat
Bathing suit
Insect repellent
Head lamp
Nylon cord
Tampons (I refuse the divacup)
Plastic bags
Pack rain cover

We are not allowed to bring computers, iPods, cell phones, etc. We are encouraged to bring books, fishing gear, sewing kits, songs, and stores….

I am going to do my best to keep an up-to-date journal and then post it on my blog when I have a chance.

For everyone who has helped me by lending or buying me equipment, I cannot thank you enough. Also, for those who have offered me support just by believing in me, I am so very thankful. I am looking forward to seeing what the next 2 months will bring!



Monday, August 9, 2010

South Korea vs Colorado

Hey Friends,
For those of you who know my recent struggle with getting a job in South Korea; I will now sum it up. I applied through Footprints Recruiting and was accepted to teach in Daegu. After all the positions were filled in that providence, I was then asked to fill out a supplemental application and was then re accepted to teach English in Seoul. Long story short: My visa and Notice of Appointment was not given to me in time, so now I am locked out of a position until the next wave of applicants. I am currently on a waiting list for positions that may open up, however they say that this year is the lowest drop out rate of the program - meaning that my paperwork is in order, but now all the spots are filled.

In the mean time, I applied for a job with the Southwest Conservation Corps in Durango, CO, and was accepted. As much as it sounds tempting to stay here in California and live with people I love, work at a job I know, and stay in weather I enjoy, I just can't. I preach so much about being too young to settle, so I guess now it is time to put those thoughts into motion.

I am really really scared about this whole thing. Yes, I have camped before, and yes, I have done some backpacking, but not to this extreme. Not showering for 11 days while doing manual labor for 10 hours a day, all while sleeping in a sleeping bag (that I hope is warm enough), and pooping in the forest... it all sounds a bit scary.
HOWEVER: I think I may fall in love with it. And if not, well, at least I tried.


Explore the Southwest – Experience the Outdoors!
The Southwest Conservation Corps is currently hiring motivated young adults to complete conservation projects throughout Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Projects may include, trail construction & maintenance, fencing, habitat improvement, hazardous fuels reduction and re-vegetation. Each crew consists of 6-8 members and 2 leaders. Crews work and camp for up to 11 days at a time in frontcountry and backcountry locations in all types of weather conditions. Schedule may vary depending on location and program. SCC crews work in a variety of national parks, national forests and other areas throughout the Southwest. Crews prepare all their own meals and work together as a group to complete all the necessary chores.
Our programs focus on place based learning, life skills development, appreciation of diversity, civic responsibility and career development. SCC also has an educational program that offers corpsmembers an opportunity to learn about the local environment, environmental issues and introduces individuals to recreation and resource management careers.
General Qualifications
Corpsmembers must make a strong commitment to complete the program.
You will be expected to take a serious attitude toward safety all day and every day.
Corpsmember must be willing to work hard, participate as part of a team.
Corpsmembers MUST be willing and able to refrain from smoking, alcohol, or drugs while participating in the SCC program.
The use of technology, including cell phones, iPods, MP3 players, and other battery powered devices is prohibited in the field, unless it is a day off. Corpsmembers must agree that they will not use these types of technology while participating in an SCC program.
Substance Free
Corpsmember must be willing to appropriately represent the SCC Program.
Members are expected to complete projects that involve heavy lifting, hiking, and living outdoors for an extended period of time.