Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Blog #1: Falling Into the Flow

Welcome pot-luck circle on a beautiful fall day

Hello friends, families, and loved ones reading the first entry in the Roaring Canyons Semester blog! My name is Maya and I have been appointed to the job of the “scribe” for the fall semester. 

After a departure from our lovely families on opening day, we ventured deep into the woods on the surrounding land. Under the dappling sunlight we walked the soft trails to the sparkling beaver pond. It is interesting to look back at those nervous and slightly awkward conversations made up of small talk and excitement over shared interests. As we walked we were only slightly aware of the amazing connections we would make in the coming days. Since we last saw you all we have grown our roots down, and our branches up. New connections have been made to form our group into what it is now, and what it will be as we move forward. 

Tristan gets "knighted" during opening ceremony
Parents form an arch for students

We have fallen into a daily routine
 of waking up at 5:15 to do various sorts of exercise, ranging from 20 sun salutations, to an intense ab workout. Finishing at 6:00 to be ready for chores at 6:20. On the second day each of us volunteered for a chore that we planned to stick with for the rest of the week in order to master it. Sarah is now a chicken and egg expert, while Elena can muck a stall like no other. 

Rio and Alice working on the shed roof

Spencer helping fill the hayloft with the second cut!
Kai unloads a trailer full of hay

As chores come to a close we breeze into breakfast. We then have a chance for a decompression at our individual sit spots in the woods. With a fifteen minute break we tie up loose ends and begin our academics. We are learning about the flow of rivers, the water cycle, nutrition, how to stay safe, warm, and dry while paddling, and much more. Each day we also swim from one end of the pond to the other three times as training for swimming in bigger water. We end every day with an evening meeting to check in with each other and ourselves before bed. 

Part of our curriculum is a class called “Expedition Preparation.” We have been reading about people who have embarked on amazing expeditions. Our assignment was to write a song about the expeditioners and perform it. Pele, Rio, Zinnia, Alice, and Kai wrote a song about the Cholitas Escalacoras. Their performance had everyone on the floor laughing! Wearing helmets and holding broomsticks they moved from rap to upside down singing while Alice pranced around us waving bandanas and making odds sorts of noises. 

Guest teacher Chris Knapp teaches fire by friction
Alice and Sarah at work on their bowdrill kits
Liam learns knife-making from Laurel and baby Sylvie
Zinnia at work on her knife blade

Although much of our time is filled with laughter it is not always easy. One physical challenge we faced was biking a very hilly 2 miles to Chases Mill with Callie leading us. Chases Mill is a water mill that is being worked on and will hopefully be functional soon. Even though the ride back to Kroka was not easy we had the bright waters of Lake Warren to gaze upon, and the support of each other as we climbed the steep New England hills. It was fun to watch as Tristan, Spencer, Fin, and Kai raced each other up the hills. 

This week we are all assigned our "big jobs" (expedition responsibilities). Working with our staff mentors, we packed and prepared for a small intensive expedition on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers. This will prepare our minds and bodies as we travel down these East coast rivers. Looking to the tall Green mountains, soon to be many shades of reds and yellows, we are imagining the red-rock canyons of the West. As the journey continues forward I will keep you all updated on our many adventures, and the always continuing growth of our roots, and branches.

Zinnia and Callie share a moment in the pasture
Liam and Elena take in the view

Pele takes a rest during the harvest day! 

Maya, the scribe

Callie contemplates the long journey ahead!
Fin - hard at work on the shed roof!


  1. Wishing all of you the very best on such a wonderful adventure.
    My love to Zinnia! So very proud of you!
    Pat Sprinkle (Gigi)

  2. Thanks for sharing this glimpse and somebody please give Zinnia a big hug from her Milwaukee family! Love, Cathy :)

  3. Wonderfully described, Maya! I look forward to reading more of your posts in the coming weeks and months. We love you!


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