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Solos, Sacred Places, and Rock Climbing

We are currently in Joshua Tree National Park, California. We just had a great four days of climbing. We all improved our skills a lot. Our wonderful leader Nate taught us all about climbing and repelling. He also taught us some cool climbing terms like “gnar-gnar” and “crimper.” The first day we focused on safety techniques and learned about climbing. Then we were quickly off to tear up the boulders of Joshua Tree. There was a lot of “sending it” and challenging ourselves. Everyone is very tired from our days of climbing and ready for our next adventure.

Prior to California, we spend two days at a Native American reservation called Tohono O’odham. We learned a lot about their border issues and the history of their tribe. Bernard and Mr. Joaquín were so kind to take time out of their Sunday and show us around. During out visit we took a quick hike up to a sacred cave. We were able to go inside and see all the offerings left for the Creator who is said to live in that cave. The sun was blaring, but the weather was beautiful. We were all excited to stay in the Culture Center after being alone in the wilderness for four days.

Cascabel Hermitage, where we did our four-day solos, was a beautiful hilly landscape in southern Arizona. We were fortunate enough to take time out of out busy schedules to have four days to spend time by our selves. Some people read, did homework, played with rocks and everyone was pestered by bees. We all had different experiences with our solos, but overall we were glad we had that time alone.

Before February started we spent time in Tucson, Arizona. During our five day stay at Gilbert Ray Campground we were busy with exploring Tucson, having library time and hanging out with Adam Jones. We went to town one day and did some shopping then had a nice dinner out. On the following day we spent time doing research for our culmination projects. After that we got to go watch the Superbowl at Buffalo Wild Wings because Adam used his persuasion techniques to get us into a full house. When our fearless leaders returned from their days off we quickly got to preparing for out solos.

Seeing the landscape change as we left New Mexico blew us all away. Suddenly, the hills were covered in saguaro cacti. As we continued on to Joshua Tree what we saw turned from flat to towering rocks.

Our adventures over this past term have carried us from Georgia all the way to Southern California. Here we will spend our final time finishing up classes and doing a final backpacking trip. We’ve had so many amazing experiences and it’s sad to know it’s going to be over soon. However, we’re excited to get home to see out families.

With this final blog post it’s your girl Rick and your boy Noah.
Peace out...from Winter Mountain 2013-2014.

Erica Sullivan and Noah Barehmi
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  • Brook Stableford
    I was there when you guys were! I had a feeling it would have been worth contacting Proctor to see if you guys happened to be there. That was my first time back since Mountain Classroom in '96 and it was awesome running, hiking and backcountry camping. Glad you were there!
  • Ceil Parteleno
    So much beauty and strength in the landscape and your friendships with each other. Can't wait to see you and hear more.!!!Ceil
  • john ferris
    Thanks for the blog! i am always intrigued by the solos and how you each manage the four days of solitude. Distraction versus introspection or a combination of both. The idea of the bees....less intriguing :). Thanks again and enjoy the rest of your journey!
  • Angie Duke
    So fun to read about all of your travels guys! I'm glad you got to spend a few days with Nate in Joshua Tree. Pretty amazing spot and an amazing guy. Have fun in Mission creek, but watch out for the coyotes!
  • Patrice Sullivan
    So impressed with all you have accomplished! Amazing experiences and lifetime memories!
  • Chris Farrell
    Forgot about the bees over at Cascabel! I hope everyone stayed safe. I'm so glad there are 11 new folks that I know that have gotten to experience that place. I've had a far share of introspection amongst those saguaros. Have a blast in Mission Creek and good luck on your Culminating Projects. Can't wait to hear stories of your adventures when you arrive back to NH. Make sure you dust off those snow boots, we're getting another dump tomorrow!
Located in  Andover, NH,  Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 912. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
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