Chapter 1: She Oak Ridge

By Sarah Roman

First blog of the trip is up and boy, do we have stuff to tell you guys! For all of the parents frantically checking this site to see if there are any updates on their child’s location, hello. We are all alive. There are a few bumps and bruises from rope swings, capture the flag games, accidentally lighting on fire, and I will spare you the rest.

The first place that we set up camp was She Oak Ridge. Literally set up camp—we had to put up tents with little instruction (we are not boy scouts, especially coop). Conclusion: crooked tents and spider encounters. Claire and Marcus were hosts for the week and they are two of the most impressive and hard-working people we have ever come across. The majority of their day is taken up with caring for their horses, wallabies and all wildlife/plant life on their 165 acres of land. Claire is constantly smiling, singing, and laughing at all of Marcus’s prolonged dad jokes. We soon came to found out she helped film the documentaries Planet Earth and National Geographic. Marcus was blessed with the ability to cook all types of food, from burgers to fish curry.

For us, the majority of our days consisted on clearing hiking tracks, shoveling hay, and standing in front of the showers for 10 minutes waiting for the spiders to move. We made lovely new friends in there named Denise and Gretchen; they both have eight eyes and hairy legs. When we were not showering with the spiders, we were either playing shuttlecock, frisbee, or lounging in the hammocks. Sometimes, if we were lucky, Claire brought us up to feed to wallabies and this one guy Mimzy always got really excited to see Josh. One night we were introduced to Marcus’s stepfather Stefan. He is just as clever with the jokes and magic tricks as Marcus is, but he can fool us all while a frog is sitting on his head.

Aside from the fun adventure time we had this entire trip so far, being at She Oak allowed us to appreciate nature and the people we are with on a whole new level. Just being with the same people all week made us all closer as a group. Seeing how well we all work together from just this time, we cannot wait to see what the future brings. Our next move is to adventure to the Outback. We will be checking in afterward to let you know how good the steaks are.