This season’s SCA Trails (and Native Plant, Fire, Southwest Bus Team, and any others I forgot) kicked off with a two-week training session in Longview, WA. As to why the SCA chose one of the rainiest states to hold training in (for a number of years running that is) is still up for debate, although such answers as: ‘to toughen us up’, ‘to provide real world experience’, and ‘to make our own sites seem not so harsh’ were among my favorite proposed by participants. To be fair, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the wet, moist conditions. There is something about rain that is just revitalizing, invigorating, and refreshing. It certainly makes one appreciate a warm bed and dry place much more, not to mention food. And speaking of food, it was incredible! Raven (a contracted cook who has worked for the SCA for a number of years) was hired to provide food for the ravenous trainees and trainers. She brought with her a number of assistants, Emily, Kristy, Josh, and one man simply known as Blue, and between them they proceeded to whip out delicious meal after delicious meal on a thrice-daily basis. The training part was not too bad either. We had an introduction to the SCA on the first day, followed by some policy information, ‘Drive Safe, Drive Smart’, and other general topics. This was followed by a multi-day Wilderness First Aid course for some and a Leave No Trace Trainer course for others (those who already were WFA certified). After all that, mostly sitting around in cold damp places, we were finally allowed to get up and move! We had a five-day work-skills course, consisting of one day of tool/body mechanics education and base camp set up and four days of practical application of trail skills. The practical application consisted of cutting a section of new trail through the temporal rainforest that is the costal northwest. The trail included a number of structures, including a rock wall and rock steps, two timber bridges, and a +50 foot retaining wall. All members threw their hearts and souls into the project, allowing us to finish it in the mere four days time (although one crew was stuck working till 5:30 on the final day, in one final valiant push). The trail was a beauty and I bow my head to all who participate in the project. With the accomplishment of that trail still radiating from us, we gathered up for a final meeting and slide show, a testament to our hard work over the past few days. The next morning we said our (sad) farewells and set out to our various locations to get some work done. Happy trails to all!