Posts Tagged With: wanderlust

Summer: An Adventure in Itself

Camp Waziyatah adventure when I was 15.

At 13, I started going away each summer to sleepaway camp in Maine and the spark for summer adventure was lit.  Summer camp became my passion in life and what kept me going through what I always felt were boring winters on Cape Cod. After 4 summers in Maine I moved on to New Hampshire then Pennsylvania then New York. After college, which was already nearly 1000 miles away from home in North Carolina, I moved to California.  I spent each summer for a decade at camp! After a year in CA, I landed here in Wisconsin at the beginning of last summer and experienced my first season without camp.  I told myself it was okay because I was in a new place and learning things so it was kind of like being a camper again.  When summer started this year I didn’t pack a duffle and head out the door for the first time– instead I stayed put and found adventure right here at home.  I had brilliant climbing days, swam in beautiful lakes, biked everywhere I could, grew three fantastic gardens, hiked exciting new trails, grew closer with my partner, made new friends, and took/taught more classes with Driftless Folk School. At one point I even attended a talent show show in town that felt straight out of summer camp. While at first I felt restless, I am now appreciative to have spent the summer here in the Driftless learning about myself, my community, and this beautiful area.

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Introducing Harold the magical horse.  Harold came into my life during my last year of college and has been a wonderful travel companion ever since.  He has been to several different states with me, gone backpacking, canoeing, etc.  He has also survived many encounters with dogs that want to gnaw on him, pet rats, small children, and checked baggage. For a while he even took baths with and slept beside my dear toddler best friend, Althea in California.

Here’s what he’s been up to since moving to Wisconsin!

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Northwoods and Knives

After saying that I would update more frequently I promptly left home and didn’t update. Sorry folks!

What I’ve been up to:
Northwoods Vacation!
Jamie and I took a trip up to Superior country for a few days. It was wonderful.  The lake and surrounding area are gorgeous. I really enjoyed seeing Ashland and Northland College as I had thought about going there way back when during college application times in high school. One night when we were camping I heard some crazy wildlife that I am unfamiliar with and haven’t been able to identify.  I also heard WOLVES!

What Cheer? Brigade!
On Friday night the What Cheer? Brigade took our little town by storm and it was a dance party extravaganza never to be forgotten. Pretty much everyone I knew or have ever seen in town was there and dancing and having a blast.  Not many bands come to Viroqua and it was great to see everyone out and having fun!  I love this community!

Early American Knives!
A full update with photos will follow this but let me just say that I made a knife and its awesome! I’ve never done any blacksmithing or forge work before and I really loved it!  More later.

We recently got a half bushel of peaches and I have been preserving them in various ways all day.  I have some peach rings and fruit leather in the dehydrator right now and I am mid-canning some in a light syrup. Unfortunately the propane tank ran out and I must wait for the new one to get here this evening until I can finish!

We harvested the garlic a couple weeks ago, tied it, hung it in the barn to dry, and yesterday I cut it down, cleaned it, and prepared it for storage! It’s fun to see the whole process and it smells oh so yummy!

More to come and don’t worry, there will be pictures!

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Obligatory Introduction Post

My name is Annie B. and I am a 23 year old college graduate doing what many of my peers are doing in this economic climate—traveling, doing internships and work-trades for little or no money, and blogging about it!   Growing up in Massachusetts, spending summers at camp all around the Northeast, and going to college in North Carolina has all contributed to my current state of wandering and I couldn’t be happier with all the experiences I’ve had. After graduating from college with a degree in Outdoor Leadership Studies I stayed on campus as a Resident Director where my duties mostly included planning under attended events for my residents and writing up or lecturing loud underage drinkers.  I then moved to California for a year-long position as a Community Intern for the Woolman Semester—a radical semester program for high school juniors, seniors and gap year students based on peace, sustainablility, and social justice.  As an intern I wore many hats including: “grown-up”, gardener, vegetarian chef, trip leader, nanny, camp specialist, chaperone, etc. and loved them all. Now my wanderlust has pulled me to Southwestern Wisconsin where I am a work/study for the Driftless Folk School.

Driftless Folk School is a community based program focused on sharing knowledge, skills, and passion related to sustainable living.  The school has no physical location and classes are held at various homes, schools, farms, and homesteads around Viroqua and Vernon County. Classes are signed up for individually so that a person can take as many as they want throughout the year. Local experts and enthusiasts are hired to teach skills like pickling, natural building, chicken butchering, cheesemaking, blacksmithing, etc.  As a work/study I live with a host family on their farm outside of town where I work for room and board and a couple hours per week for the Folk School itself for a small stipend and free Folk School classes.  The folks I am living with out at Turtle Hollow are absolutely fantastic and I feel so lucky to have this opportunity!

My goal for this blog is to make it appealing to family and friends as well as those interested in Driftless Folk School, folk schools in general, or farm/rural life.  I feel I should mention that each work/study lives a very different life depending on what their host farm is like so it would be impossible to represent each experience in my blog. I’ll just keep to what I know! To follow will surely be photos, recipes, anecdotes, class reviews, and whatever else spills out of my brain. Enjoy!

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