We had 12 participants that included one newcomer to FD and a good amount of people that were desperately seeking to reconnect with FD after being out of the game for a bit. We also had Strings (aka Craig DiGiamarino) from Genentech joining us as our general support volunteer for the weekend and he was an absolute rockstar! You know you’re in good company when you’re handed a fresh cup of coffee every morning! After we all had our first experience making our own spring rolls Thursday night, we headed out Friday morning to climb Chimney Mountain and explore the depths of Eagle Cave. Although the climb was steep, the cave was cold, and the weather was unfavorable, we all had a great experience challenging ourselves and testing our limits mentally and physically. The rain continued Friday night and throughout the next day, but with the rain came the opportunity to conquer the raging waters of the Hudson River during our rafting trip on Saturday. The rising water levels made for an epic day of rafting that gave us a rare opportunity to paddle some awesome whitewater and practice our buddy rescues! The story of the trip was definitely when a boat of 8 paddlers suddenly became a boat of 4 and after being picked up by a different raft, ET had to “phone home” to be picked up when everyone was safely out of the rapid. The rain finally broke Saturday evening just in time for a campfire and s’mores as we reflected on the trip and the obstacles we faced. Many of the participants battled various fears and frustrations, but everyone left with full hearts, a boat load of confidence, and some great stories to share. It was really great to see the group come together throughout the trip and learn to lean on each other for support. It’s been such a wonderful experience being on the other side of the coin for FD and it’s trips like these that feed my addiction to spread the Out Living It spirit wherever I go!
Written by: Michael “Hustler” Burek, Lead Staff
Photos by: Olga “Avocado” Podzorov, Participant