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The Pacific Northwest: Marine Wildlife & Exploration

July 13-14, 2021

I was the first kid to be collected, so I got to meet everyone as they came while we were sitting in the airport for like four hours. We looked at each other awkwardly and made small talk. When everyone arrived, we all formed a circle and discussed rules and explained what the different leadership roles are, and what the scribe does, and it was announced that I would be the first scribe.
We took the big van to the American hostel where we played intense games of spoons and ate Chinese food. The hostel is in the Chinatown neighborhood of Seattle. The seagulls squawking woke us up bright and early. A classic Seattle experience. After we ate a small breakfast, we split into two groups in order to travel to the ferry. Our group gave ourselves the name of Adam’s Apples since Adam is the counselor  of our group. Connor was appointed as my group’s Leader of the Day, and he did a good job of directing and picking out good music. In the mini-van, we listened to a magical Ethiopian tape called Eshet-Eshet. After a couple hours in the van we arrived in Anacortes where we had to wait for the delayed ferry.
Beach time! There, we played the woody and princess game, and after formed our group contract. It smelled like the sea and the views were incredible. Then, we drove onto the ferry where we made sandwiches and played poker with Oreos as chips. After a beautiful ferry ride, we drove off to our hostel in Friday Harbor. Now we are checked into a really nice hostel, where we will have pizza and some evening group activities.

-Jadyn G.

July 15, 2021

The day started off with Alex singing in the minivan and eventually the whole van singing California Girls by Katy Perry. We all then got out of the van started getting ready for kayaking. We saw a bald eagle fly overhead during our safety talk! Once out on the water, my kayak buddy, Ella, and I were slow, but we started to coordinate better and maneuver our way around. Maddy was our leader in front and she kept saying “around the corner” when we asked how far we had to go before stopping for lunch. For lunch, we had sandwiches, chips and the BEST oreos. We head back to the kayaks and made the short paddle to Jones Island where we will be staying for the next two nights. Once we arrived, we set up our tents and even a couple hammocks. We settled down by playing the card game BS, throwing a frisbee and making our flag. We also saw a lot of deer. After dinner we went for a hike and watched the sunset filled with so many beautiful shades of orange. We saw some harbor seals and then ORCAS! Which were prettier than on screen to be honest. That’s all from today, so singing off.
– TrinaJuly 16, 2021

This morning was cold. After waking up, Alex and Sarah jumped into the ice cold ocean. Brrrrrrrrr. We found a stick on our first hike of the day and we carried it ALL the way back to our campsite. On the hike, we saw a seal on a rock and it jumped in the ocean. Inspired by the seals, sometime in the afternoon, a few of us jumped into the freezing cold ocean as well. Teddy, Austin, Connor, Kyra, and Ewan jumped in. Another group went for a kayak ride with Sarah, circumnavigating Jones Island. The people who kayaked saw seals and harvested bullkelp, which we ate for dinner.- EwanJuly 17, 2021
Today we woke up to a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, as we packed up and got ready to finish our kayaking trip. The water was much smoother which made for an easy ride. Along the way, we got up close with many seals and jellyfish, and even got to see a river otter running around! After kayaking for almost three hours, we parked ourselves at a little island to have mango and tofu wraps. The water was so cool that some people even swam. It was definitely our hottest day so far and we reapplied some sunscreen there. Once we got back, we put away our equipment and headed off to two hotels; a little hostel in the heart of Friday Harbor, and a luxury hotel where everyone got their own room with a queen sized bed (I was in the nice one). We explored around and got to see a gazebo, a game room, and a cafe. We then had pizza, cheered on a grown man playing super mario, and found an open gas station to buy snacks at. Then we called it a night, while watching Bad Moms 2 and Mean Girls.- Lila S.July 18, 2021
The girls spent the night in a fancy hotel and enjoyed tacos, muffins, smoothies, and lemonade from the cafe. As a group we talked to a wildlife expert from an animal rehabilitation center called Wolf Hollow. We then walked around the historic English Camp and did some team-building activities. While listening to some great music, we drove back to Friday Harbor where we all received some money and broke into small groups to explore the little town. Everyone got food and souvenirs before meeting up as a group to take the fairy again. The ride was about an hour long and we spent the time watching the water and playing games. Lastly, we drove back to Seattle and stopped at Five Guys, which holds special value to us, and soon called it a night.- Maya S.

July 19, 2021
All of us woke up later than usual. Long day yesterday resulted in a tired crowd throughout breakfast and the vans. Austin started pumping out some tunes. He played Kid Cudi and Jack Johnson to name a few of the artists throughout the ride to the Space Needle. Once at the Space Needle, Alex found his camera at the foot of his seat. We walked through the history of the needle itself, and learned that it was built during the Cold War. Oddly enough, we weren’t allowed to speak on the 41 second elevator ride. Our frustration quickly vanished as the view of Seattle from the top opened up and revealed the secrets of the city. My favorite part of the tour was the Chihuly Gardens. Massive glass sculptures encapsulated large, dark rooms. Pikes Place was the overall best event of the day. We split off into groups and found a hole in the wall restaurants. In the words of Sofia “If you stand in line at the Starbucks, I’ll be mad at you.”  Indeed the first Starbucks was a let down. The samosas were fire tho. Jadyn disagrees. We topped off the day with an underground tour of Seattle. Honestly, everyone thought it was more interesting than imagined. What a day!

– Alex

July 20, 2021
This morning, we woke up to our usual breakfast of honey-nut scooters and bananas so we could prepare for a long day. After a packed ride and a few wrong turns, we finally made it to King County Park, where we would be spending the morning. When we got there, Crescent, the volunteer coordinator, gave us some info about the park, its importance, and its long history. Eventually we grabbed some tools and started some service work, the reason we were there. The invasive blackberry bushes took a while to cut back and rip up. Once we cut off pieces, we had to chop them up with pliers on a large tarp, as we used our shovels to help pull up the roots. Each person figured out what role they were best at, so work went quick and smooth. Connor yanked out yards of the berry vines, and Teddy pulled up the most roots by far. As the tarps filled up, Sofia, the master-chopper, and a few others broke up the plants so we could put them on the compost pile. Ten full tarps and two hours later, we were finally done. Of course, not without our fair share of cuts and scrapes from the sharp thorns. All the while, Adam, Trina, and Lila were preparing for lunch. Their adventures began when Trina got “lost” in the grocery store, aka Adam took three laps around the store looking for Trina, whilst she was watching him panic, not even two aisles away. The wraps were worth it, so even though we were a bit cut up, everyone was satisfied and ready to go. We did a few quick bonding exercises at a nearby beach, and then went back to the hostel to relax. The best part of the day was about to come, dinner.

– Kyra

July 21, 2021

Today was another bright and early day at the Seattle Hostel as we packed our bags and began our two hour adventure to Fort Worden. However, before the hours of music and podcasts we stopped at a local shop, Fugi Bakery, for yummy coffee, hot chocolate, and pastries. Next, we hopped in the vans and were surprised to realize that Adam and Sarah had another stop on our plan before the ride, Uwajimaya Market. The Asian influenced store was filled with local Seattle chocolates to wide varieties of candy (as you can see we mostly scoped out the sweets section). Being fully nourished and wound up on sugar, we began our drive to Fort Worden State Park, near the Olympic Peninsula. It was amazing to stay in the same building that soldiers from generations prior slept in but more so, being able to appreciate the view of the water from our rooms. The afternoon was spent walking downtown while Sarah shared knowledge on the history of Native Americans in the area and the town’s sustainable practices such as a Rain Garden. It was beautiful to walk on the rocky beach, where we even saw a little river otter, and notice all of the biodiversity in the residents’ gardens. To end the day we shared a nice meal that was followed by “excitement” from the lemonade served and another moment of sharing “warm fuzzies and cold pricklies.” Needless to say, I am excited for the hikes to come while we stay in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Ella B.

July 22, 2021
Today started with a long drive from our sleeping quarters in Fort Worden to Olympic National Park, where we met our extremely knowledgeable tour guide, Tracey. Olympic National Park has without a doubt has been my favorite part of the trip thus far. During our hikes, we saw deer, chipmunks, marmots, and what Tracey described as “dust devils”, which were basically mini tornados made of dust formed by the wind. We took a break in between our hikes to eat lunch at a spot with a beautiful view of mountains that had blue glaciers on them! We hiked about 7 miles in total today. When we got back to Fort Worden, we ended our day with a walk on the beach to a local lighthouse. As we walked by, this guy caught a huge salmon right in front of us! I’m looking forward to our hike tomorrow in one of the only rainforests in the United States!
– Austin W.

July 23, 2021

I woke up at 6:30 with Connor aggressively clapping to wake me up. We went to Mess Hall and had a great breakfast with hashbrowns and eggs. On our drive to the rainforest, we had two people playing music: Connor and Lila. Connor played lots of rap and got a few complaints, however, Lila played Taylor Swift and everyone screamed it. Our first stop was Lake Crescent. This lake had the clearest water and mountains behind it. It was one of the coolest views on the trip. After this stop, we went to Forks, the town where the movie Twilight takes place. We stopped in one of the stores to refill our water bottles, and they sold a variety of Twilight merchandise including creepy pop ups and dolls. For lunch we had wraps, a Global Works traditional lunch. The hike had great scenery and it was really pretty. We said goodbye to our guide Tracy, and went along on our ride home. The AirBnB was a really nice house with lots of rooms and comfy beds. We had pizza after a long day, and it solved everyone’s hangryness.
– Sofia

July 24, 2021

The day started at 8:30 AM with peanut butter and nutella sandwiches and chocolate cereal. By 10:30 we set off for Longfellow Creek Park to do some service work. Today’s service included removing the classic himalayan blackberries along with a new invasive plant species; english ivy. English ivy proved itself difficult and tedious as the ivy blanketed the forest floor and slithered up every tree in sight. By the time 2 hours had passed, we headed to a different part of the park  where we ate vietnamese sandwiches for lunch. After we worked hard, we prepared to play hard at the Snoqualmie River where we planned to embark on a three hour tubing adventure. I can speak for everyone when I say the tubing experience was awesome. The river was at a goldilocks temperature, and was slow and winding, with parts of exciting rapids. By the time we got out of the river around 7:30, everyone was a little damp and cold. But that time was short lived as we made our way to the cars and changed into our warm clothes. After the river tubing we made our way to arguably one of the best dinner spots we have found so far. It was a little burger shack called Small Fryes and their slogan was, “We specialize in grease, salt, sugar, and caffeine!” They held true to this slogan as most of us got  some of the best burgers, fries, sodas known to man. The day wrapped up with a short drive back to the air bnb where we did our classic warm fuzzies and cold pricklies, before heading off to bed.

– Teddy

July 25, 2021

Today started with my healthy breakfast of 2 bowls of chocolate cereal and 3 scoops of nutella. Then we drove to our first beach pickup of the day for 2 and a half hours. During this pickup we discovered interesting objects like Ewan seeing a can of beans. We then got a nice lunch of burritos before we headed to another park to pick up more trash. At this park we met our nice guide Ariel, and we were informed how trash affects marine life in the ocean. During this pickup many of us were on confetti duty where they picked up tiny stars for an hour, and they were left feeling unaccomplished due to the sheer amount. Teddy ended up winning both trash pickups by collecting the most trash. We soon headed back to the house where the real adventure began. As I diced my garlic today I witnessed a cooking masterpiece. People were running around cooking up a storm along with setting the smoke detectors went off twice. Finally we all sat down and enjoyed steak made by Teddy, mash potatoes by Connor, salmon and brussel sprouts by Trina, and mushrooms by Alex, and a cake by Lila. Following our dinner we had a talent show which included dances, magic, arm wrestles, haikus, cheers, and circus acts. To top this off we had an intermission trivia made by Jadyn where team “Yeeah” ended up being victorious. Lastly we ended our day with Lila’s massive chocolate cake that put everyone to sleep.

Ella B.