It’s been a busy year for volunteer leaders Robin and Carter Bland, who have led four trips all across the country, ranging from the canyons of Utah to the mountains of New Hampshire. And they’re not done yet, as they’ve just embarked on yet another trip to Maine’s Acadia National Park. As you can imagine, all that hiking makes for plenty to write about. Here’s Robin’s report (and a recipe) from their latest adventures:
“Over a five week span this summer, I enjoyed two different and beautiful Wilderness Volunteers experiences. In late July, I participated in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness project led by Brian Bone and my husband, Carter Bland. We camped at 10,800 feet beneath spectacular jagged peaks and alongside huge meadows of wildflowers at peak bloom. Our work project was building check dams and waterbars on the West Maroon Pass trail between Crested Butte and Aspen. Each day, as we lunched amidst this glorious scenery, I thought there’s no better view at the best table in the finest restaurant! On Tuesday, a photographer from the Crested Butte News happened to hike by and stopped to take a photo of our crew. Later in the week, other hikers passing us on the trail mentioned that they had seen our picture in the paper – what great publicity for Wilderness Volunteers. On our day off, some of us hiked to Frigid Air pass, where we were rewarded by a fantastic view of the iconic Maroon Bells. Luckily, we reached the pass before any rumble of thunder – a daily occurrence in summer afternoons – could turn us back. It was a week enjoyed by novice backpackers and veterans alike.”
“A month later, I enjoyed a very different landscape when Carter and I led a WV crew to a beautiful corner of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in the Superior National Forest of northern Minnesota. The BWCAW comprises over one million acres of crystal clear lakes, sparkling streams, and boreal forest. After shuttling across Lake Vermillion in a US Forest Service power boat, we paddled our canoes across Trout and Pine Lakes to our basecamp where we set up for a week of portage trail maintenance and campsite rehab. One of our tasks was to build a stone staircase at the landing for our campsite. We were treated to gorgeous weather all week and, after work each day, were rewarded with a dip – or long swim for some – in the warm water. As for the legendary BWCAW mosquitoes and biting flies…they more or less left us in peace for the week. Loons and whippoorwills serenaded us each night as we sat by our campfire and watched the light of the full moon glisten across the water. It was a little bit of heaven.”
Two beautiful trips, two different landscapes. Two great ways to Give Something Back.
Here is a recipe for a cereal/energy bar that was popular on both trips. Some ate it at breakfast; others took it to have alongside their lunch.
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup honey
4 cups Grape-Nuts cereal ( or use a generic barley nugget cereal)
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins or craisins
Combine honey and peanut butter in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients, mixing well.
Spread into a 9”X13” baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil (e.g. Pam). Use wax paper to press into pan and flatten it out. Cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes, cut into bars, and enjoy!