Jennica getting a letter!
1. Nature’s Alarm Clock. I strategically position my tent on each hitch to face the rising sun. I tend to be restless in the morning anyway, meaning I frequently wake up and fall back asleep. After a few days, it’s pretty easy to remember where the sun is at certain times, and judge when it’s time to get the stove fired up for oatmeal! Living on nature’s schedule in general suits me very well, at least during the summer. Even though we spend 9 hours a day, for 6 days a week digging out roots and laying down boardwalk, I feel really well rested. I wake up by the rising sun, go to sleep by the setting sun, and eat well in between. Oh! And don’t forget to look up at the night sky; we’ll have a new moon pretty soon.
Nature’s alarm clock going off above my tent.
2. Stretch Circle. Each morning before the workday begins we get together to stretch our bodies and minds. I love stretching in general, but each stretch circle has a theme or question that we answer as we lead the team in our stretch. I’ve lived with this crew since January 8th. The longest period I’ve gone without seeing some of them has been 7 days, but with each stretch circle topic it seems like I learn something new about someone. Jennica studied abroad in Peru during high school and Scoot rode ATVs with his father along the Nile River in Africa. The questions are not always deep, however. We also learn what sort of useless upper power you’d like to have (being able to blow up a balloon in a single breath) or if you’d rather be a chipmunk-sized grizzly bear or a grizzly bear-sized chipmunk. The answer and stretch is up to you.
3. Using Less! We use less water because we have to haul it around in heavy water jugs. We take fewer showers and do our laundry rarely. Our faucet never leaks because we don’t have one and no one would dare leave the water running while we brushed our teeth because someone had to carry that water by hand! We don’t even have the opportunity to flush a toilet if we wanted to. We use less electricity because there are no light switches, refrigerators, or power strips. There are no computers being left on 24/7 or air conditioners on full blast forcing us under our winter blankets. I often wonder how I will come out of hitch season differently, and using less will be one thing that I strive to improve upon.
4. Dinner! Sweet potato burritos, nutritional yeast gravy stir-fry, quinoa with peanut sauce, and B for D (breakfast for dinner), are only some of the awesome meals we have. Tons of veggies, tons of protein, tons of carbohydrates, and all done with 1 pan and 1 pot. Everyone chips in with chopping veggies and stirring. We get together and talk about just about everything, and then we all do the dishes together. We do everything together from 6:30A until 7:30P, and it’s just how it works best.
5. Getting Letters. One of the great things about hitch is to separate one self from what you’re used to. Where you live is different, who you’re with is different, and what you’re doing is different. The ease with which we communicate with others is also different (depending on the hitch). We don’t have electricity here, but there’s a town nearby, so I write these posts and upload them at a store when I get the chance. But I don’t have an address out here, nor a charged cell phone with reception. When one of the staff comes out to see how we’re doing, they bring letters, post-cards, and packages. It’s very exciting to get letters, no matter who they’re from. It’s a great reminder of the people we love, but don’t get to see or talk to all of the time. So if you know anyone that’s on hitch right now, send them a letter!!
On hitch news, we have only 2 more work days left at the Saco Heath Preserve. We just finished as far as our site contact Matt had dreamed we’d get to, and are ready to continue on the 15th! Here’s a video of the before and after of one of the sections of boardwalk that we just finished on the 12th.