Thursday we got up after the seven hours of rain finally let up. Park was running a couple errands that were taking longer than expected and we had an open hour. So we had a big breakfast with snacks and went for a short hike on the Small Wilds Trail, then met up with him at the parking lot to carry the tools back to the work site.

 


Alex ended up carrying all the water!

We discovered the most efficient way to work the second day, the girls moved a ton of dirt,
Park stacked rock and leveled, I used the pick to pull rocks up and hand them out and the other kids hauled them to him.


I liked this shot, pre-posed with them admiring the job. You can tell the kids LOVE Park and are having so much fun getting sweaty and working.


We had a lunch break and short rest, the kids snarfed food and played cards, then we headed to Grundy Lakes to meet back up with Park.
We walked the whole of his mile-long trail, talking over a few points and he showed us a bee hive.

We got back to work, taking a section of trail that had been strewn with trash for a long time and piling it all up in one place. There are more dumps in the woods, we could probably do a whole week just picking up things people threw away back in the 60's.

Next up was canoeing around the lake to pick up trash. Katy had sent some money with us, so it was decided straight away to use it for ice cream. We made a deal that 2 bags of trash per team would get ice cream for all, no slackers!

I teamed up with Park and sat backward in the canoe so he could do all the paddling and I could talk non-stop the whole 90 minutes. I also climbed in and out getting trash out of the duckweed. There was some leech-related drama, I will admit. I did not get any, but stepping on that leafy bottom gave me the heebie jeebies.


VERY active hornet nest


Full barrel and this was not all of it! Go, us!

Back at camp, the kids horsed around and talked a while.
Despite the ice cream, there were claims of near-starvation, so the apples were demolished. After some artistic expression.

We had hot dogs, grilled cheese and marshmallows stuffed with chocolate for dinner.

Park came back over with a load of dry wood AND he built our fire. Talk about full service!

This was the start of the 'Cuddle Puddle' in which the kids all opted to sleep in a pile. I did manage to make them get more bedding and not just sleep in the 50 degree weather relying on each other for warmth.


Jake was in the fray until time to sleep and then he ran for the van. He'd gotten wet the night before in the rain and did not want to risk a repeat.
Britney read to everyone.
Around 2 there was a meteor shower and they all woke each other up to TALK LOUDLY AND LAUGH while watching. That was the only time I was ready to strangle any of them.

Friday morning:


We gave Rho Chan's sleeping bag since she had nearly no padding and she rolled off of it. Ben is in his bag upside down.

Note that only Britney has a real pillow. This is because she took everyone else's out of the van to have more room for her feet!


She only LOOKS sweet, she's really an evil mastermind. I should have blamed her for forgetting the salt again. haha!

Friday