June 19, 2014
The Good, the Bad, and the Rain
Rainy days seem to be the hardest, regardless of whether weâ€™re hiking, driving, riding buses, or anything else. Today, the struggle began as the participants woke up to eat breakfastâ€”just as the rain began to fall. We all enjoyed a soggy breakfast, trying to keep our cereal as safe from the falling water as we could before venturing off to take pack up sleeping bags, pads, and tents.
For once, the crew was ahead of schedule, probably because the rain inspired all tent-mates to pitch in and clean up as quickly as possible. As a result, we were fortunate enough to take a walk across the highway and the bridge to wander along the Oxbow Trailâ€”a 1.7mi hike through the pines lining the Nenana River. The route was supposed to look like a lollipop, with a short trail leading to a circular route; however, a wrong turn towards the end of the hike led to an extra loop around the trail. Yes, it was rainy; yes, it was cold; but this had little effect on the moral of the crew. Voices could be heard up and down the trail participating in a call and response-style song including stanzas like: There was a moose/He liked to drink a lot of juice. The rest of the song detailed the mooseâ€™s adventures with his juice, to the amusement of those too shy to add their own off-pitch voices to the hullaballoo.
A quick lunch followed the longer-than-expected hike, and we were off to Fairbanks, where we will spend the next four days. Road construction and the resulting traffic led to a longer-than-expected drive north, which eventually played into our favor. Entering Fairbanks at the same time as yet another rainstorm was disheartening, especially with the accompanying thunder and lightning. The problem solved itself when we ventured to the great land of grocery stores to wander and kill some time. Luckily, we arrived back at camp just as the rain let up and proceeded to set up our tents. This process required more thought than usual, as everyone needed to be sure not to set up camp in a puddle, or in an area that might potentially flood if (when) we get more rain.
Everyone wrapped up the process as we heard the call for dinner. Even better, we had burgers with all the works (potato salad, veggies, chips, and all of the classic burger toppings). So far, the rain continues to hold off, but it will surely come again soon. Regardless, everyone will sleep high and dry tonight, excited for a museum-filled day in Fairbanks, Alaska.