Summer on a Shoestring

The weekend was LIT!
June 11, 2017, 10:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Howdy y’all! Dan here again.

After days of rain and hours of working on proposals and peer reviews, this year’s Shoestringers were finally welcomed by Mother Nature with a beautiful weather, somewhere in the 90’s, on our very first official weekend here in Bartlett! And so it didn’t come as a surprise when we were woken up by the balmy beams of late morning sunshine, rather than the screeching sounds of our alarms (thanks Trey for not forgetting to turn off your siren-like alarm). One by one, as the crew got out of bed and made our way downstairs to the coffee smelling kitchen, it was clear to me that I had been making them work too much with no break in between. But thanks to Pope Gregory XIII and his Gregorian calendar, the weekend could not have come at a more quintessential time.

Rubbing our eyes and trying to brush off the morning drowsiness, the crew realized that they had a difficult situation to go through the first thing in the morning. Syd was leaving. After each and every crew member exchanged warm and lasting hugs with Syd, we decided to capture this moment by taking a group picture. It is sad that Syd was leaving but apparently her family hasn’t seen her much lately since she was studying abroad in Costa Rica over J-term and so she hadn’t been home since she started school back in fall. Melany was leaving too but she’ll be back. Plus she’s been sort of a nuisance (just kidding Melany!). And good luck to Eddie (Melany’s son) on his college tours on their drive back to Ohio. He visited Cornell, Tufts, Northeastern, and will be visiting Amherst on their way back.


After the tough goodbyes, everyone was sort of on their own to spend their very first Saturday in Bartlett. Some of us took it easy and stayed home while others were off to Pine Mountain for more hiking! A rare species named Dan was spotted in his natural habitat, disguised in an umbrella hat, a cup of coffee and a book. I had no idea this picture was being taken as Alex Y creepily observed and recorded my every move. But I’m reading a book called Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. I just started it so I can’t write much about it but it is a narrative story of trees, science and the memoir of Hope Jahren, a female American geochemist, geobiologist, and a professor. I will do another blog post that will be a review of the book later on.

As I mentioned earlier, the average temperature for the day was 90 degrees F and the high was 96 degrees F. And so I decided to make some Pina colada smoothie for everyone who were around at the house. The recipe is super easy and quick. All you gotta do is blend ice with pineapple juice and cream of coconut. If you’d like, you could add a little bit of rum but I decided to forego that step. The sourness of pineapple and the sweetness of coconut cream, coupled with crushed ice, a sip of this heavenly virgin cocktail took me to a distant and isolated island in Puerto Rico. I will be definitely making more soon!

Trillda was back in action with their exploration and Travel Guide. Milda, Trey, Shiyi and Alex R left the house with some sort of determination and resolve and they drove away to hike the Pine Mountain. They got back from the hike around 6 and the crew went to North Conway to get Thai food for dinner. Needless to say, it was delicious and will probably go back just to befriend the owner. He is from Thailand and he was hilarious. When we got back to the White House, Maddy and Shiyi took the crew to their favorite spot at the river and while they were doing that, the campfire was getting lit. Like really LIT. I made friends with some people from other groups that are staying in Bartlett over the summer and soon the river crew joined the rest of us. It was my first fire of the season and had forgotten how nice it was to sit around the fire and stay away from mosquitos. Although a late first fire of the season, this will go on and will be many more. So stay tuned!


Dan out.


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