Author: Paige Tambini
CA: Mono Co: DeChambeau Creek- Lundy Canyon- Horse Meadow & beyond
This was our final, full day in the field as Natural History Field Quarter 2016, and it was a beautiful day indeed! After breakfast, some people went inner-tubing in the frigid creek water, some went to Horse Meadow hunting post-burn wildflowers, and some made it back to Lundy Canyon to revisit the snowy creeks and abundant birds. For all the hours we had to spend in our beloved Mono Basin at the various locations of our choosing, the day went by much too fast. At around 5:00 p.m. we were all back at camp journaling, laughing, talking, as the sun went down, avoiding the realization that this night would (sort of) be our last. For dinner we had yummy sausage, veggies, and rice, and for dessert, as we gathered around the fire in preparation for our final meeting, we ate banana boats: hot, gooey bananas with chocolate chips and marshmallows, melted in tinfoil on the hot fire embers.
The instructors had been mysteriously working on something at camp all day. Their efforts were finally presented to us in amazing and heartfelt closing statements. First they went around and read what they had written to poetically summarize our four trips together and all of the magic they had held. Then Chris and Ryan read each of us a short, personalized piece about who we are and what we bring to the course. Everyone felt seen, appreciated, and understood in the firelight, surrounded by our new community. Abby and Jack shared their meaningful, appreciative thoughts as well and then we all were given the chance to reflect openly in the supportive space on what N.H.F.Q. has meant to us. It was a long, beautiful event of love and reflection, a bitter/sweet evening of goodbyes to F.Q. but also hellos to the rest of our lives. When bedtime came, we were all ready for sleep and excited to drive through Yosemite on our way home the next day.