Embracing the Snowfall

by Andrea Wackerle

By: Tray Ray

After returning from our sunshine-filled adventures in California, we took to the snowy mountains with new enthusiasm for winter activities. We started out the base phase by driving up to Togwotee Pass to try out cross country skiing on the local trails. For many of us, this was our first experience cross country skiing and made for a memorable experience, trying to keep our balance and traveling through the snow-filled pine forest. Our spirit for winter fun continued as we traveled to Jackson Hole the following day to check out the People‚Äôs Winter Market. After exploring the festival we went to Snow King Resort, the local ski hill in town, to go tubing down the slopes. We returned to base that night to get ready for the Super Bowl party the next day! Before we were able to watch the Super Bowl we had to complete a deep clean of base and get some expedition planning in. After finishing our chores we prepared for the Super Bowl party by making a buffet of appetizers including wings, jalapeno poppers, and cheese sticks and watched the big game in the Ramshorn all together. 

Once the weekend was over it was time to get back to business with expedition planning and preparing our end of the year transition binders during personal development hour. We had a meeting with Annika to help us understand what we needed to start working on to complete our transition binders so that they are ready when our parents come at the end of the year. To break up the monotony of planning the final expedition and our future goals, we visited the local gym to help clear our minds and get fit! 

We had several Life Skills over the base phase including conflict resolution, self-care & mindfulness, life success attributes, and responsible tourism. The responsible tourism helped us prepare for our international expedition to Belize. We also had two CWC classes this past base phase and after each class, we went to Riverton to food buy for the week. We have really gotten to know that Walmart and have become more efficient at our shopping. 

During the second week of base phase, we had a big winter snowstorm and got a ton of fresh snow on the ranch. After the storm had passed the group went on a 4-mile snowshoe hike to the Warm Springs Canyon to see the large icicles that had formed on the natural bridge. It was a beautiful and strenuous hike but it was great to enjoy the sights just a few miles from base and get out there. 

We wrapped up our base phase by heading to the riflery range on a cold Friday morning. We all got the chance to shoot the Mosin-Nagant rifle after shooting two rounds with the 22 rifles. Even though it was cold out there we all did better this time shooting at the range and had a fire inside the hut to warm up in between rounds. At the end of riflery, we had a debrief talk to see if we could transfer any skills we used at the range and apply them to other aspects of life and share how we felt during the activity. After leaving the range we went to play disc golf at the town park and once we got too cold we headed to the laundromat to get our clothes washed before leaving for Belize! That weekend we spent time expedition planning, working on personal development, packing for our trip, and deep cleaning our spaces. Then we were off to Belize!!!   

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