Hi friends and family!!! Sage (Ethan) and Charlotte here! After gallivanting through the alpine forests of the La Garita Mountain Range of the Rio Grande National Forest, we have arrived in beautiful Buena Vista Colorado. As we rest and recharge in our humble adobe abode, we reflect on the past four days spent backpacking. We began our trek at the La Garita Trailhead and traveled approximately 20 miles through expansive mountain landscapes, wild creeks, and windy passes. Our group worked hard to enhance our backcountry culinary skills through dishes such as artisan pasta, crunchy rice masterpieces, and the sweet morning delicacy of soggy oats. On our second day in the wilderness, we summitted the rather challenging Half Moon Pass. We trudged up the menacing switchbacks solo reflecting on the question “Why do we trek?” The summit was an overwhelmingly emotional experience and multiple members of the group shed tears. Once the tears were wiped we continued onward only to find ourselves on the wrong side of the mountain, this led us to completing yet another large pass and an intimidating skree field descent (large rocky face of a mountain). Ultimately, the four day trek was a measure of our groups abilities and strengths through the many adversities we faced (ex: combustion/explosion of a whisper light stove). We also celebrated Rachel’s 19th birthday with an amazing ravioli and scrumptious homemade s’more inspired chocolate cake courtesy of our in house chef David. While resting in Buena Vista we had the pleasure of speaking with Teto, a Guatemalan based Dragons instructor. We discussed the history of Guatemala and the grueling immigration application process. Furthermore, we also watched Harvest of the Empire a documentary highlighting Central American immigration history. As our time comes to a close here in Buena Vista we are excited to travel to Westcliffe CO where we will spend the next week. We’ll be working with an organization called Mission Wolf, collaborating with volunteers to learn about the rehabilitation of rescued wolves and wolf/dog mixes. Talk to y’all soon!