Day One: We all woke up at FMA, and we were all a little bit nervous and excited to go on our first expedition of the year. After our normal 6:15 a.m. History class, we had an amazing breakfast of eggs, potatoes, and bacon and coffee cake, got our backpacks out on the deck, and we were off. It was about a four to five mile hike through the gorgeous countryside to the Iron Mountain Trail and our first camp at “Miracle Springs.”

Day Two: I woke up and my tent partner, Nathan, and I got our fire going, and had our first breakfast out of a billy cup. Yum! We stayed in camp that day for classes, and our first class was a little bit different because Mr. Kevin was teaching us about going to the “bathroom” in the woods. It was an interesting class to say the least, but pretty informative. We went back to camp, and cooked up a nice billy can full of lentils and rice for supper.

Day Three: I woke up very early, and we took down our tent and packed up our things to move out. We left at about 9:00 a.m. and hiked a good three to four miles. Oh yeah, and I carried a rock the whole way! We arrived at our destination, MP10, set up our camp, and met at rally for classes. Mr. Mike told us we’d be having a competition on wood gathering. Lowell and I tied for first place at the end, and we all got a Snickers bar.

Day Four: We packed up our things and headed off for about two to three miles to Meadow Camp. When we arrived, Mr. Mike gave us clear instructions that if we went to get water, we would go with our tent partner because of all the bears in the area. We set up camp and went to rally, and then back to our camps. This night we ate a bunch of food because we knew we were getting more tomorrow.

Day Five: We woke up early like every other day, and got our fire started. We met up at rally, and half of us left to go meet up with FMA staff to get more food. We were all very happy. After a short hike back, we ate a billy can full of food, met up for rally, and then went to sleep.

Day Six: After a good sleep, with a full stomach, I got up and began our daily routine by starting the fire and getting water. We met up at rally and had our first class on stretcher building. We all did very well.

Day Seven: We woke up early after a great night’s sleep, and broke down camp. After meeting up at rally at around 9:30 a.m. we set off on a nice hike of about three to four miles to our next camp at Upper Birch Branch.

Day Eight: We packed up camp at 7:30 a.m. and then at 9:00 a.m. we were off to hike back to MP10. Nathan and I still had a bunch of wood from when we there a few days ago, so it was a mellow day. We built another stretcher and practiced carrying a patient up the trail.

Day Nine: We had the luxury of sleeping until 9:00 a.m., and then we were off to our last camp. Halfway there, it started pouring on us, so we rushed to camp and set up our tents ASAP.

Day Ten: We packed up our camp for the last time, and headed back to FMA. It was a beautiful day for a long hike, not too hot, not too cold. We were all looking forward to the supper back home, and a shower. It was a pleasant experience for our first expedition, and I can’t wait for the next one.

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