On September 15th, nine students and two teachers left FMA for the first expedition of the school year.
     The first part of the hike was spent on a long stretch of paved road, that went mostly uphill through very little shade. Occasionally as we passed a house, dogs would bark or people would stare or wave. Mr. Mike would look back often and give me instructions to pass on to the other hikers, or tips to help make my hike easier.
     After about one-and-a-half hours, we reached a church and started up the rough, rocky Iron Mountain Trail into the woods and on up into the mountains.
     When we reached our first camp at Miracle Springs, my tent-partners Rachel and Erin, and I went to our camp site and started setting up our tent and getting the fire ready to light. Then we went to our first class of the expedition where we learned the basics of what we needed to do. Two more students, and another teacher joined the group as we were working on our first fire and prepared to cook our first meal. After one more class, we climbed into our tent and went to sleep.
     We spent another day at Miracle Springs attending classes and practicing our camping skills.
     The next day, we hiked further along the Iron Mountain Trail to Saddle Camp, where the water source was too far away to be called good, and we were visited by wildlife at night.
     The following day, we hiked to Camp Coughlin where we were finally able to take “Billy Can Baths,” and feel clean for the first time since we started out. At this camp we also learned how to make field expedient stretchers in case of an emergency.
     On the next day’s hike, we left the Iron Mountain Trail and headed off the path and through a lot of trees and steep hills and confusing turns to get to Upper Birch Branch Camp. When we got there, good wood was slightly difficult to find, but the water source was wonderful as it ran right through the middle of the camp.
    The next morning we got to wake up a little later, and then started the long hike back to school. When we finally got to the school, everyone was waiting for us. They took pictures and helped us unpack all of our food. Then I headed to my room where I unpacked my backpack for “reverse junk-on-the-bunk.” After my equipment was inspected and checked, I got to get my mail. It was so nice to finally get letters from home. After reading my letters, I took a much needed shower, and then went to the dining room for a wonderful dinner. The day ended with all of us relaxing, and finally falling asleep in our own beds.

One Response to Expedition One by Kelsey S.

  1. okaymom says:

    thank u kelsey for insightful story about expedition one. while reading your words, i felt like i was a participant in your journey. u painted a marvelous picture…thank you!

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