I am a traveling machine! After wrapping up an awesome week at Scott's Bike Shop in Cleveland, TN, I flew across the U.S. on Sunday to Spokane, Washington. It's hard to contain my excitement for my job this week: backpacking guide! There is a great non-profit based out of Spokane called "Peak 7." Peak 7 is a non-profit that focuses on taking low-income and at-risk youth on outdoor adventures. They offer climbing, rafting, and backpacking trips. Unlike some organizations that cater to mainly affluent youth, I appreciate that Peak 7 does not exist to make money. They exist to make relationships with the kids, teach them about the outdoors, and to ultimately, show them Christ's love throughout the trip. It's so exciting that Spokane youth have the opportunity to explore the outdoors and learn from experienced guides through this organization. I arrived to Spokane Sunday morning after a long day of flights from Tennessee. Austin, the Peak 7 coordinator, met me at the airport and took me to Zip's, an amazing burger place, for lunch.
After a quick bite to eat, we headed over to the Peak 7 Warehouse to unpack gear from the previous week's trips. I put up tents to dry out, cleaned boots, and tried to help get everything organized for this week's trips. It was great to meet the Peak 7 staff, volunteers, and guides. Every person I talked to had a unique story about how they came to Spokane and found out about Peak 7. The organization has only existed for just under five years, but it's incredible how far along they are. The warehouse alone is an achievement since most of the gear has been donated by different companies. There are some causes that I hear about and quickly forget about, but Peak 7 is definitely not one of those for me! I love what they're doing and believe it's a very worthy cause to have trips for at-risk youth. If you're interested in donating, click here for a secure link.
To read more about what Peak 7 is about, check out their website here.
Where will I be this week?
Peak 7 is based in Spokane, but for the backpacking trip, we're driving 5-6 hours to the North Cascade Mountains.
What is my job this week?
I am going on day a five-backpacking trip, which Peak 7 calls an "Ascent Trip." I will be going with Nicole on an all-girls trip with 7-8 youth participants. Since I haven't been to guide school or gone through Wilderness First Responder course, I'm basically a participant that is also job-shadowing. Nevertheless, I plan to get involved by building relationships with the kids, helping filter water, set up gear, and learning as much as I can during the week.
How am I feeling pre-trip?
This week will be unique since I will be gone all week and away from my laptop. I'm ecstatic to take a break from technology though and be fully engaged in the trip. Honestly, I am nervous that I won't be fit enough to backpack for five days. This will definitely be a stretching experience, but I don't want to be a person known for playing it safe and only doing things that are comfortable. I anticipate that this will be a memorable week and will help me see firsthand what it's like to lead teens on wilderness trips.
I will be backpacking for five days so guess what that means! I won't be blogging for five days! I plan to post again this coming Saturday with a detailed blog about the trip, complete with pictures and videos.
Thanks for following me on this journey this far.
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