like weeding kale and squash as opposed to potatoes! In all honesty, though, it was another good teambuilding experience. We all had only a few hours of sleep (Emma having 15min of sleep) from the Dark Knight Rises premier the previous night (which was completely awesome and worth it) and we were all a bit sluggish. Squash turned out to be a very unfriendly vegetable with its many sharp thorns, and I could feel the bond forming within the group as we all rallied against the squash. It was ok in the end, though, because we went to Olive Garden for dinner. We started the next day bright and early at 7:45 and made our way to the Cascade Head Preserve with our food and camping gear. After a couple hours of attempting to take pictures of each other sleeping in the car, we finally arrived to the party only to trek a long 2 ½ miles through mud puddles up the mountain. Everyone was exhausted by the time we reached the top but all of it didn’t matter once we saw the breathtaking view (and also the gang of elk).
The weather was sunny and perfect so we could see and enjoy the entirety of beautiful ocean and landscape as we sat and ate lunch. Of course, we didn’t go there just to enjoy the scenery. Our supervisor got us quickly to work and gave us some tough landscaping projects to widen the hiking trail at certain marked spots up and down the mountain. I got to use a pulaski for the first time which proved to be useful both in slicing up the earth as well as relieving stress. Our trek down the mountain after an exhausting day’s work was thankfully a lot easier, and I was able to pick a few yummy salmonberries along the trail. Later that night we got to show our true colors of how bad we were at camping as Charlie
broke one of the sticks to our tent (which was honestly more of a mistake on REI’s part), Michael initially couldn’t use a lighter, and no one except Kaola could turn on our mini gas stove. Both Michael and Charlie redeemed themselves though since Michael eventually learned how to use a lighter consistently and Charlie started our campfire. We concluded our two weeks of vegetarianism with potato soup, vegetarian chili, rice, and, of course, smores that night, and after an expert analysis on vertical farming, we went on to play chubby bunny. This is a very strategic and complex game where you take a bag or two of marshmallows and stuff your mouth with as many of them as you can while trying to say “chubby bunny” after each marshmallow you shove into your mouth (I did not participate in this prestigious game). Sunday was otter day because we went to the Oregon Coast Museum and watched the adorable otters swim, roll over, rub their faces, and eat off their bellies. There were seals, crab, and sharks as well, but there were also otters.Being on the coast, we had to visit the beach at least once before we went back so we spent a good 15min on the beach before hurrying to the magical Tillamook Cheese Factory. Personally I’m not a big fan of cheese, but Tillamook made me rethink my decision. With a sampling bar for cheese and a viewing area of where the cheese is actually made, the cheese factory was a very intuitive idea that made a great cheese company even better. Of course, the highlight of our stay was the unbelievable ice cream that could easily rival Cold
Stone, and as a group consensus, we would probably all agree that the Marionberry Pie is the first flavor you should try if you’ve never had Tillamook Ice Cream. Finally, with the skilled intuition and driving skills from Kaola, we ended the day returning all our camping gear, broken tent and all, to REI a second before it closed. All in all, our showers back home felt amazing.