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Weathering the Storm

Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan! Our crews deal with the elements, wildlife, equipment issues, vehicle problems, and so much more. It’s great that they can keep a positive attitude about it and learn to “weather the storm”. That’s what this Greater Yellowstone Wilderness Restoration Team did when they were hit with a middle-of-the-night storm during a recent hitch in North Dakota. Read on for an abridged version of crew member Will’s blog about their eventful, hilarious hitch.

“The next place we stopped on our journey across the Midwest was Jewel Caves National Monument, and this is where tragedy struck. We had one of the best campsites, set up right by a lake in this huge park. What we didn't know was the wind was going to be getting up to 35 mph that night! I woke up around 3 am to find my tent collapsing on itself and dust flying everywhere. In the heat of the moment, I packed up all my stuff and threw my pack out of my tent. When I stepped out, I found out that my pole had snapped straight through my rain fly (thanks REI for the warranty). I took down my sad tent and threw it in the rig, but to my surprise, one of my teammates had the same idea and was passed out in the back seat! She told me that while she was taking down her tent, her sleeping bag was blown away. We now had a new mission; locate Taylor's sleeping bag.

It felt like I was walking through a sandstorm, but I spied something caught in the branches down by the lake. I ran down the hill, but it was only her sleeping pad bag and a tent bag. As I was walking back up, I slipped and a prickly pear cactus caught my hand. That felt really pleasant at 4 in the morning... Taylor found her sleeping bag and we woke up Maddie and Cody to find out that none of us got any sleep. We packed up all our stuff and drove to good ole McDonalds to get some grub and cope with the loss of our two tents that night.”

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