The Battle Continues


(Photo above) The students ham it up for Dan, not that they don’t act like that on a regular basis!

Week II and the epic struggle against poison oak continues. Not to beat a dead horse, but poison oak seems to be a ruling factor in our lives right now. The first victim, our very own Richard (aka Lake aka Lagos aka Fuego) was the first to fall. As I said before, Brandon had some on his wrist last week, but like a trooper he pushed through the itch-pain that is very specific to the innumerable slings and arrows of poison oak. After Lagos got the Poak (as we so affectionately call it) in an untamable massive rash on his thigh, David and I took pity on him and brought him to the doctor and then watched as the magical steroids began to slowly defeat the itch-fest that was slowly taking control of his body. We were both soon to follow in his footsteps.

Lagos conquers poison oak. And this particular rock.

Besides the poison oak, our lives here have begun to follow some sort of pattern; wake up at 5:30am, make and eat breakfast, prepare a delectable lunch of peanut butter and jelly and G.O.R.P. (good ole’ raisins and peanuts, and whatever other snacks you want to throw in as well), Crew Leader of the Day (CLOD) leads stretch circle along with the absurd question of the day, and then its off to work. Out of the Redwoods and down scenic highway 1 to begin a workday filled with entertainment and enthusiasm. Usually. Not a bad routine by anyone’s standards and certainly something I am getting used to. Our work is a nice change from digging holes in the blistering heat of South Dakota. Now we have tourists instead of Bison, and poison oak to beat the heat.

To end the week, one of our students who volunteers at the Monterey Aquarium got us all in for free, with half-off hamburgers at the aquarium cafe to boot – making a few of our members happier than clams (clams who are not in captivity at the aquarium that is…). My personal highlights were the sea-horse exhibit and the touch tanks. I touched an array of different kelp, sea stars, crabs, and I almost dove in after a bat ray that ventured over from the far side of the tank. I think at that point David felt like he had an extra student under his supervision rather than a co-leader.

The girls find a willing participant in their shenanigans.

That evening we headed to Pfeiffer Beach to eat sand with a side of dinner. Dan, our friendly neighborhood SCA photographer joined us for our evening romp on the beach, and the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves hamming it up for the sake of posterity. Week two: success!