The first trip headed out on Monday. The temperature was nice enough for shorts and a t-shirt, but cool enough for hiking. The students had full control of the map and guided us perfectly to Birch Lake, which we followed quite efficiently to one of the old Mica mines. We checked out the mine and one of the remaining boilers. After this we headed to our campsites, because of the size of the group, we were divided over two sites, #9 & #12.
Once the tents were set, students searched for dead firewood, which was quite easy considering how dry everything was. The fires provided were a great atmosphere as the dinners were made and eaten. It seemed like everyone had excellent meals planned for this first night. After the bear hangs were set up, it was time to hang out around the campfire. Stories and songs were the call of the night, along with the loons and the Bart owl.
We woke up to a cloudy, but nice day. The hike for this day was not too hard and this group moved very quickly. We made it to our lunch spot quite quickly, which was also one of the campsites. Before lunch, we took our time to enjoy the view of Big Salmon Lake, from a magnificent lookout. After lunch, part of the group stayed at campsite #5, while the rest of the group continued down the trail for another hour to campsite #4. The evening was gorgeous as the sun came out and the wind calmed right down.
The final day for trip #1 was gorgeous. The temperatures were starting to rise, as the sun was very intense. A perfect way to end a great trip.
Now, Trip #2 was on the bus waiting at the trail head. A quick switch over of gear and trip #1 was gone and the 2nd trip had begun. It is always a bit of a worry for the 2nd trip to meet you at the Park. You can never be really sure that they have taken care of all the details. It was to my surprise that two students showed up with daypacks and there were a few students who were carrying extra bags in their hands, tents, extra clothes, food, just to name a few things. For the most part the students were well prepared and moved quite efficiently. There were a few at the back that really struggled and were slow.
Thursday was again a beautiful, perfect blue sky, day. The packs were packed better this time around, although I am very interested to read the menu evaluations that the students will be doing. Again, a small group didn't plan out a great menu or the execution of the menu seemed to be lacking.
The hiking went very well today. It was much hotter than it had been the last couple of days. Students travelled more as a group and we were much quicker today. The lookout, for our lunch spot, was spectacular with the sun and blue sky. This was followed by a quick finish to campsite #4. Which provided a beautiful evening, where a number of students went swimming and the sunset was spectacular. The evening was topped of with some great laughs around the campfire as we played liars dice.
The final day had to be quick. The bus pick up was scheduled a little earlier than usual, as some of the students were planning to attend the Relay for Life event at the school. The students were ready to go on time, although some of the bags were not well packed and we needed to do a bit of repacking as we started on the trail. We made the bus in plenty of time, which was good, as the blackflys started to come out.