Friday, August 7, 2009

Introductions for the group

Well hello there everyone! It is here tonight that three girls sit in front of the glow from the computer: "Skadoosh", Katie, and Mon-ick-a. We have the coolest blog assignment of them all... to introduce the gang of temporary mountaineers. So let's get this shin-dig started already eh?

Rusty (the ring leader): "I think this is the road here... well at least I thought it was."

The 'papa bear' of the group. Rusty is the most resourceful (except when it comes to a flat tire), kind-hearted, and greatest joke maker around. His quick wit and vast knowledge of all the plants around him constantly surprise us and his general concern for our safety makes him a MVB (most valuable botanist) in all our eyes. This crazy botanist has inspired all of us to be the amazing people we can be. It might just being just like our 'Papa Bear' or getting out and doing things we haven't done, this man manages to excede all of the above. Whether it's his constant desire to learn more and more about his workers for two weeks or new found love for bar-b-que pizza, Rusty makes sure that everyone is well informed and being educated on the California mountains. Always leading the pack with his eagle sharp eyes and 'papa' like personality. Rusty made sure that everyone was comfy and cozy from the moment we met at the airport. He's definitely a keeper in the science world and in all of our hearts.

Julie (mama): "Who's joining me on the dance floor?!"

Julie is defiantly the peace keeper of the group. She maintains a good pace on the trail and brings up the rear with pride. Her great sense of humor and multitude of never ending card games keep all of us entertained. We can all agree that it was Julie who pushed us to be more of a group. Especially those first couple of days, where social awkwardness could not be found in this lovely woman's vocabulary. While hiking Julie is the caboose eyes and makes sure we've gotten every specimen possible. Never leaving a breadcrumb behind. When we travel off into town to refresh our engines at The Lumber Mill, Julie ensures that everyone is full and happy. Driver of the red car, she can sure maintain her composure while the ruckus in the backseat seems to explode from all of us excited campers! Although she may use ski poles while hiking, we still adore this inspirational leader.

Shannon (the one who couldn't get away): "DROP AND ROLL!"

It's fair to say that EVERYONE on this trip absolutely LOVES Shannon. You couldn't meet a more intelligent, beautiful, and warm souled young woman anywhere else other than the James Reserve in California, maybe the world :) Her experience with Rusty has helped him immensely and helped us new kids decoding some of his crazy plant talk! Her crazy and wild stories have filled us with tears of laughter during those many a car rides to trail spots. Always lending a helping hand or a welcome opinion when needed and making sure everyone is up to speed on the plans of the day. No doubt about it, Shannon is a fabulous mentor. Her maturity and friendly nature make everyone feel as if they have known this gorgeous young lady their whole lives. Thank-you for returning Miss Idaho :D

Robert (the boy with many names): "I don't remember anything that happened yesterday..."

This eagle scout surprised us all with plenty of quick come backs and a great sense of humour. He is a good hiker and sets a great pace at the front of the pack. Not to forget to mention his ability to carry the press pack with mucho gusto. This midwestern missourian sure does bring the fire in a game of egyptian rat screw (card game) and don't be fooled by his rough exterior, he has a way with close up photography and the natural beauty of flowering plants ;) Without Robert, the three men would only be two and two can be a lonely number. Robert is a wonderful sport when us girls tease him and pretend to forget his name. Also his adaptability in the field is super useful when situations get prickly. (like a chinquapin plant!) So as far as "John", "Ron", "Tyler", and "Jerome" goes he is one vital team member on this earthwatch expedition. Even if he refuses to play on his school's football team. We adore you Robert.

Monica (The girl with the laugh) " I just choked on my cough drop"

This girl is a survivor. She arrived sick and is fighting this cold of hers with nothing but cough drops and the fresh mountain air. But it deff hasn't brought her down because she is liveliest one of the bunch. Right off the plane Monica fell in love with California. The HUGE mountains and CRISP air was nothing like the Iowan landscape. So she said. Monica might just skip the flight next sunday and stay in this amazing place with the rest of us. Never knew that this crazy, loud (in a good way), amazing girl would soon become one of the many cool and amazing people in the group. Her loud laugh would add so much to the trip. Her energy towards the group has been amazingly amazing no matter what strange dream, odd cuddle sessions or late night conversations we had it didn't stop her to climb that mountain the next day. Monica's thing has been doing process photos. She absolutly loves this job. She gets to take all of the pictures we later laugh our butts off too. She has become on of my best friends and she is the kinda of person that anyone can talk to and without her on this expedition i would be lost, actually not just I but all of us would be lost. It is her amazing ability to adapt and love everyone to the fullest that we all love the most.

Katie ( the forest ranger): "I'm pretty sure that it's an elephant."

Holy cows, what can Hannah "Skadoosh" and myself, Monica, say about this extremely smart and kind young lady. Well we can deff say that we wouldn't know what to pack the first day. Her advice is ooberly important and her ever curious questions never seem to end (but it's a never ending goodness, sort of like how you wish a chocolate bar would be.) This gal is more mature than any other seventeen year old around. Her 'mama-ness' has been the nurturing kick in the pants every morning and every evening. Her love for plants runs almost as deep as their roots. She may be the quiet one, but her presence is surely missed when not around. Thankfully Hannah and I can say she's in our car 95% of the time. PHEW! GO TAHOE TEAM!! Katie has been named pretty much our official recorder. We would say that this is the most important job (other than us two who are the entertainment). She manages to keep all of us crazy teenagers in line with her positive and upbeat personality, but her firm hand only appears when numbers, descriptions, and plants are being collected without the proper "katie-how-to". We love this gal's organization, sweet giggle, and awesome plant knowledge :)

Hannah "Skadoosh" (the techno-pop queen): "I'm gonna shred you like cheddar cheese!"

Oooooooh boy. Where to begin... the very first day Katie and I were stuck in the same vehicle as this crazy Virginian. Little did we know what to expect until we got a not so slight sneak peek as she began to thrash violently about the car seats to some techno music that Katie had managed to get stuck on the satellite radio. We knew immediately that this gal was going to be a keeper that we'd come to love. Her curiosity is always thriving and her wit is never quite matched by anyone else on this trip. We love her running about the woods with her pants half-way down to her ankles (no worries, there are always shorts on underneath. Modesty still exists for this outdoorsy fisherwoman) and her 80's Donald Duck aviators about her blank stare face. And trust us folks when we say it just keeps getting better. Not only does this rough and tough girl run about with enough energy to match a day care, she can get down to work faster than a squirrel (her favorite animal) can run up a tree! She makes an awesome close-up photographer, plant presser/collector, car DJ, and best of all a wonderfully wicked friend. Her adaptability to every situation makes her vital to this group. Despite getting sick a few days in (yes, we blame Monica) she managed to kick the cold and get right back to work. Once up in the morning and paired with her red camelback, she hops in the car first ready to fly into action. Almost like those sugar glyders that she has spoken of so often!! We love you Skadoosh :)

Anthony (the new jersian w/out the accent): "It's not about the air, it's about the quality of the air."

This boy is not the so "shy guy" everyone expected. Other than his unfailing humble and kindness, Tony is a hardworker. Just like his fellow earthwatch SCAP boy, Robert. Tony came a day late, but worked that much harder to make sure he caught up on missed information. He has become the official lichen and moss collector as well as Julie's company towards the end of the pack. This boy certainly loves computers and without his help we would be lost. He has been able to willingly help us fellow computer dummies all the time. He has an answer to almost everything and a deep thought to share. Anthony is willing to ease anyone's load and carry it for them or take a picture here and there. While he may not always be the first one out of bed at 6 in the morning, he is the first one to be ready for the unexpected. His flexibility and calm demeanor is the final piece to our jigsaw puzzle during our August adventure. We enjoy this New Jersey boy's addition to this team. Without him we'd be lost in a world full of lichen and moss!

Hannah (Arky): "I just freakin' ran up and down that mountain with your nasty flowers!"

What's better than a gal from Arkansas with an awesome accent and mad actress skills?! A gal from Arkansas with an aswesome accent, mad actress skills, and on our earthwatch trip obviously! H.C.'s down to earth personality has helped floor all of us and keep us focused on our task at hand to press these plants. Yet this girl is not all business, in fact she is very much party too. (On and off the hiking trails) Whether she is singing in the cars, dancing at an Idyllwild concert, or video taping the day's collections with pizazz, she has brought the much needed relief in the group with one of her jaw dropping smiles! She is daring in every way whether it is dancing with the people of Idyllwild or climbing a huge mountain this girl never gives up. Hannah has been away from home for awhile and yet her attitude towards the adventure is outstanding. :) Without her on this expedition the team would be missing a corner to its puzzle. but thankfully with all of the greatness including Hannah on this trip we are 100% compelte. Hannah we all love your smile, laugh and awesome jokes. Keep it real girl!


-Katie, Hannah "Skadoosh", and Mon-ick-a.

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