Patagonia Advanced Trekkers 8th grade expedition

  • Totally not written by Delia•

IMG_0923          DAY 1 – June 23

Day one did not consist of much; it was mainly bus rides. This bus ride, however, consisted of many games and talking and reading and sleeping and staying still and silent while the rest of the group went about their merry way. The group did attempt to include these still and silent people, though most of the time the remained still and silent and the group kept going.

It was a really long bus ride, I kid you not. We were fidgeting in our seats and waiting until we sang the National Anthem for a second time, as it would mean a new state, and our destination for now. When we finally arrived and were sent off the bus we were all so relieved to finally be here, and then we stood in the sun and heat as we were reintroduced to tent-setting-up and cooking set up. We were still tired. Then we had to set up our own tents which proved to be difficult for some people. Mostly it was easy.

Then we played Ultimate Frisbee (most of us anyway) and I don’t know if score was kept or not so the game really had no winner. After the game we were treated to an amazing dinner made by Emily’s family and we had Capri-Sun which is amazing and hot dogs and hamburgers and chips and water and veggies and then strawberry shortcake for dessert. That was a really long sentence but whatever.

After the meal we helped clean up and such, and then we had a homemade slip n’ slide which was amazing and only two people went on, Elliot and Kat, and we doused it in detergent so it was kind of like a shower, even though it wasn’t but I won’t get technical. So then we had a circle where we wrote in our journals and I was a scribe and wrote down the questions we planned to ask the people at the Rutland Herald, which was the major thing we were doing on Day 2.


  • “Grammar Gophers” – Robert Scott
  • “An unregistered white van” – Cody Ward


DAY 2 – June 24

Day two was definitely more ‘action-packed’ I guess. We went to Rutland (which is still in Vermont, mind you). It was a really long bus ride, but DEFINITELY not as long as the ride to Vermont. I can assure you that much. In Rutland, there wasn’t too much going on, but we saw a lot of damage still done, especially along the river banks and some roads, which was left over from Hurricane Irene (Bailey helped me decide that Hurricane Irene just wanted to say ‘Hi’ because the initials for this hurricane are H.I..)

So in Rutland, we visited the Rutland Herald building where we sat in a cramped stuffy room and watched a slideshow about the damage that H.I. has done. There were a few videos as well and then Delia (she’s cool) read off the questions she wrote down from the day before and a few people asked other questions they had thought of.

Then we walked to the Green Mountain Power (GMP) and apparently they had no idea we were coming, so while most of us were distracted by the displays they had concerning power conservation and such, the leader I guess came over to Emily and asked if they wanted a tour and we said yes. To the rest of us (well to me at least) it seemed like it was planned. It was really neat learning about the energy conservation and the different ways in which we can diminish the Carbon Footprint on the world. There was also a talking cow that was pretty creepy but I guess it was in a good way…?

After that we walked to this little gazebo where we ate lunch. We walked back to the bus and the day ensued as per use. We went back to the camp for dinner and such. We were given a quote to describe or write a list about and both were mainly about H.I..


  • “I really thought we were in Virginia” – Emma Simmons
  • “Oh my god it’s like ice” – Robert Scott
  • “Oh-oh I’m so sorry that was supposed to go… over” – Jacob Faunce
  • “That was weak” – one of the people at GMP


DAY 3 – June 25

So day three was definitely more eventful, though I’m sure it will be outdone soon. We went on a hike up Mt. Elmore to the fire tower. Emily told us that it would be a 4-5 mile hike so we were all expecting insane amounts of hiking, but it was raining and when we got to the top, she told us we had just hiked 1.4 miles and that she had gone easy on us, but to be fair, it was still a pretty difficult hike.

On the way down the hill we found that my backpack was leaking green dye and it got all down the back of my legs. So then Kaleb ‘convinced,’ I guess you could say (he just stood there and told everyone to go look) most people to go into this little area of the woods and cross this rocky and wet river and then continue the road to the parking lot when we could have easily turned with the road just a little ways further. I fell in a puddle at the end of the river.

After we dried off (mostly) and some people changed (I think just about everyone did) and I bought Fun Dip, we got back on the bus and went to the Ben&Jerry’s factory. We had to wait about twenty minuted for the next tour, but in the meantime, people went around and bought merchandise. Then when it was time for the tour to begin, we looked through this window and saw the machines we couldn’t see anywhere else on the tour. Then we had to climb stairs (a mountain wasn’t enough?) to this little theater where we watched a short film about the history of Ben&Jerry’s ice cream and the factory and all that.

After that we went into a little bridge-ish type enclosed area overlooking the general factory and we saw how the famous (and delicious) ice cream is made. Then we went into yet another room (but we climbed down stairs this time so it was okay) where we got to taste free samples of a newer but not super-new ice cream called ‘Milk and Cookies.’ It was really good, and I mean really good. Then we went to the scoop shop and most of us bought cones (I don’t know if everyone did) and also some of us bought pints but almost nobody finished their pint. Maybe one person did, but I don’t know who.

We wandered through the flavor graveyard and saw some weird flavors and some flavors that should have been delicious (like Wild Maine Blueberry. Who would throw that out?). And then we went back to the bus and decided to make a Trekkers flavored ice cream with peanut butter and sriracha sauce and BBQ chips. It sounds gross but it’s going to be a thing. Then we went home and made pizza tortillas.

We just so happened to be at the Carver’s around the time of Papa Carver’s 70th birthday (He admitted that it wasn’t until Saturday I think, but it was nice to celebrate it now) and we all had cake. Then we played Catchphrase as a group and Team 2 won. Then we had circle and bed for the last time in Vermont.


  • “Any pizza can be a personal pizza if you believe in yourself” – Jacob Faunce
  • “What superpower would you get if you were bitten by a radioactive bunny?” – Toby Mergendahl
  • “He’s eating ice because ice doesn’t have any Keller-ies” – Delia Saastamoinen
  • “SAFEST ROUTE, JACOB!!!” – Emily Carver
  • “Someone should quote ‘I’m cool'” – Delia Saastamoinen


IMG_0937 IMG_0941                                                              Advanced Trekkers Patagonia 2014 007              DAY 4 – June 26

Nothing much happened on day four either. It was driving, much like Day one was. We woke up at around 6:30 (IN THE MORNING), packed up remaining items and got on the bus. It was another long drive (one of many) to Albany, NY. It was about 5 hours and we were all really, REALLY, tired. And we wanted to go to Walmart for, like, the billionth time in a row.

After what seemed like ages we arrived at the campsite. The bad news? The beach was closed and we hadn’t been swimming yet. We set up camp and then went to Price Chopper where we split into groups and got food. Delia (she’s cool) dropped the sour cream and then found out that they got the wrong container anyway.

Then we went swimming and volleyball and a touch of Ultimate Frisbee. Then we went back to the campsite and the day ensued as per use with dinner and journal and a game or two. For journal we wrote about the assisted living home (Atria Shaker) that we were visiting the next day.


  • “I will wash my butt in the sink” – Emma Simmons
  • “Oh look some knives!” – Amber Johnston
  • “The mighty jungle” – Elliot Spear
  • “My god it’s wetter than a Kentucky sweater out there” – Cody Ward
  • “We should all just be able to run around campus naked” – Philip Atwood
  • “Braaaap braaaapp” – ‘The Brap Dude’
  • “Scantily clad magician who coaches little boys in basketball who lives in a  double-wide trailer” – Robert Scott (they were playing Life)
  • “Life sucks”/”I learned one thing during this game, don’t go to college” – Toby Mergendahl
  • “And that was the quote” – Keller Lessard


IMG_0949     IMG_0946                                                              DAY 5 – June 27

The next day we went to Atria Shaker which is an assisted living home. When we got there there was a group of the elderly sitting on chairs around a shuffleboard board outside in the shade of a roof-ish thing that I can’t recall the name of at this moment. So anyway, we were split up into groups by cook crew and half of us got a tour of the building (which was hotel quality) while the other half interviewed the group outside. When the tour group got back and the interviews were done, we switched so each group had a chance to see the building and talk to people.

When my group went into the building, we also went into the dementia ward where we were introduced to ‘Trouble’ and ‘Double Trouble,’ as they introduced themselves. Then we went into the demo room where we see the generic idea of the rooms. Then we went under the roof-ish thing which I still can’t remember the name of, and interviewed someone.

They were all very nice and asked us the same questions after we were done. Then we shared what they said (we wrote it down) and by then the tour group was back so we took a picture, talked for a little while longer, and then said goodbye and left.

When we got back to the campsite, we stuck to the usual program only this time we had SHOWERS! Jacob and Emma and Lauren broke open a bunch of hand-warmers and almost died of toxic fumes. Not at all, actually, but it sounds like something interesting actually happened if you say it like that.


  • “Wait, where is Swagtown USA?” – Delia Saastamoinen
  • “If you asks us any questions we’ll have to kill you” – Atria Shaker resident
  • “Wow he’s really tall!” (x3) – Atria Shaker resident
  • “I’m gonna find the soulmate one… and give it to myself” – Cody Ward
  • “He brewin’ me coffee” – Robert Scott
  • “Don’t eat people’s hair” – Philip Atwood
  • “You smell about as good as one of my freshly  baked pancakes” – John Curtain
  • “Do whatever you want to do. Don’t let anyone stop you. There will be negative repercussions
  • “No don’t guys. Help me out” – Elliot (in his sleep)
  • “Poo” – Kaleb Robinson (at 6:00 am)
  • “Maybe somebody died” – Patrick Corcoran
  • “B.S., Delia!” – Keller and Aubrey (I had one card left and was trying to pass it off as every card
  • “Oh…oh what is this? OH GOD IT’S A TOOTHBRUSH!”- Robert Scott



DAY 6 – June 28

Day six. Day six was driving again.  It was about a five hour drive (side  note–on the way, we stopped for food  and Delia won a banana out of a claw  machine because she’s cool.) and then we went to Buffalo, NY where we stayed for two days. We met Jacob’s dad who came and brought cookies and brownies. Then we went to Lake Ontario and swam (some of us anyway) and had potatoes for dinner. There was also a playground and phone calls home which resulted in many tears. Then we had circle and journal by the beach and my bug spray was almost used up because I’m cool and I shared it with everyone.

Then we drove home, well, we drove back to the camp site and on the way home we had a dance party because we could. Elliot started it off (thanks Elliot) and then most people joined in and awesome dance party lights were provided by Jacob and I. There was music, also, I forgot to mention that, but you honestly should have inferred that because you can’t have a dance party without music.

Then we went to sleep. The end.


  • “I refuse to argue with these paper towels” – Jacob Faunce
  • “I feel like a jelly donut” – (I forgot to write down who said it but props to them)
  • “I think it’s starting to rain” – John Curtain (entirely blue sky)
  • “I was gonna kill you and steal your muscles” – Patrick Corcoran
  • “Hi I’m George Bush and I approve this muffin” – Keller Lessard
  • “Walk like this. This walk gets all the ladies” – Brian Haskell
  • “puce” – Jacob and Lindsey at the (exact?) same time
  • “Now you’ve seen a real bluetooth” – some guy with a legit blue tooth.


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DAY 7 – June 29

So on day seven we went to Niagara  Falls. It was cool (haha it was both cool and  cool as in awesome and cold haha I’m  funny) and we went on a boat called ‘The  Maid of The Mist.’ Everyone wore these  really awkward and uncomfortable poncho  things that don’t work well in heat when  you don’t want to get extra sweaty. Plus,  when the wind is blowing, you get your  own personal bubble, but so does the person in front of you.

Then we sat down in front of an ice cream store but we DIDN’T GET ICE CREAM. Then we went on the bus and had a Trekkers lunch at a picnic table and John singlehandedly defended said picnic table from ravenous seagulls that probably had rabies. I don’t think they did but it’s a definite possibility.

Then we went mini-golfing–sorry–MONSTER mini-golfing with black lights and arcade games and loud music and it was indoors which was okay I guess. No heat. AND IT WAS AIR CONDITIONED! I won ( just kidding I didn’t) and then we all tried to get either a pair of Beats (headphones for those who are not ‘youngster cultured’) or an iPad from this rigged machine that nobody wins anything out of.

We were on our way back to the campsite when Emily realized that she forgot her binder that has information on EVERYTHING about the trip. So we went back to the mini-golf place to get that and then went on our merry way to the campsite. The day continued to go as it usually would only we had our first thunderstorm on the expedition and some of us (cough cough Jacob) got a little too excited at how close the lightning was. it was over soon enough but not soon enough to have circle outside so we went on the bus.

Then we went to our tents and I didn’t wear shoes because I’m cool but she probably should have because she stubbed her toe about five times in two minutes. Then there was an earwig in my tent and I brutally murdered it. Then everything was okay and I went to sleep. The end.


  • “Cause skittles that’s why” – Bailey Noble-Roy
  • “Brian will you be my woman” – Robert Scott
  • “Wash the feces off my footsies” – Elliot Spear
  • “I like it when children just stand there and don’t talk” – Kaleb Robinson
  • “Wait… Keller?” – Patrick Corcoran
  • “Maybe he overdosed” – Patrick Corcoran
  • “Is that poisonous?” – Patrick Corcoran



DAY 8 – June 30

So another driving day. We  drove to a new state, though, so  it wasn’t super bad because when  you drive within a state its kinda  boring but when it’s to a new  state, its a whole other story. We  drove to Pittsburgh where we would stay for three nights. We set up camp on the sidelines of a rugby field. It was pretty cool. There were those giant stadium lights but they didn’t turn on ever the first day (they should  have).

But actually, we went shopping first and it took us a while just ton find a store. We settled for this one store called ‘Giant Eagle’ which is basically a Hannafords. So then after everyone was done we went to the campsite. THEN we set up camp but I didn’t want to move this paragraph to before the first one so….

Then the rest of the day was normal. We ate we slept and then the day was over. The end.


  • “Dad?” – Keller Lessard
  • “Haha… I’m not your dad” – Guy at the store
  • “I just like to kill people and steal motorcycles” – Lauren Curtis
  • “Look knives! It’s like heaven” – Amber Johnston
  • “Alright now you owe me a kidney” – Patrick Corcoran
  • “If you ask someone out and you tell them there will be pancakes, it doesn’t matter who it is, they will say yes.” –  Cody Ward
  • “Can you make a boat out of hair?” – (also forgot to write down who said this)
  • “I set my hair on fire once” – Lauren Curtis
  • “I can make my eyes jiggle in their sockets” – Toby Mergendahl
  • “Organic? Aw naw get the good stuff” – Emily
  • “Fruit Loops!” – Lily Vachon



DAY 9 – July 1

Day nine was a pretty eventful day. We went spelunking and we were only

a few minutes late but it was still pretty fun. We went into the Ballroom (a large, open area) and then Emma dropped a contact and couldn’t see well enough so she went back up. Then we continued and I almost had a mental breakdown because she’s cool. Then it was a mystery activity. We drove around the town and then stopped in front of a steel mill. We were told that we were going to learn about steel but we weren’t, because we were surprised (for the most part) with a Pittsburgh Pirates game! It was kinda boring at first but then Jacob and Lauren and I started rooting for the other team and gave the players nicknames (Banana, Huron, and I can’t remember the last one) because we’re cool.

The home team won, and then we went home. It doesn’t seem super-eventful when you write it out like this but it was. The day ensued as per use and that’s it. The end.


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DAY 10 – July 2

Day ten was mystery day! We were told the night before what would happen so we would know what to bring and all that, but it was still kind of surprising for some people. We drove for about a half an hour and then we were at this wave pool. It was almost packed but not too much.

We got there and naturally we didn’t know what to expect but we at least expected there to be waves. There was just a bunch of people. So most of us go in the water, you know, and then this siren thing goes off. These giant waves start and some people love it but some people (such as myself) were taken by surprise when the waves kept coming. I kind of almost drowned because the waves kept pulling me under.

Then Toby was swimming and the waves came and almost the same thing happened to him. Twice. But the second time I had a floatie so I saved his life, or as he puts it, I postponed his death. Then it was okay and everyone had fun at the wave pool, I think. (Side note–they need better lifeguards)

After the wave pool we drove for another while and we were at this restaurant called Primanti Bros.. They served sandwiches and they were so good! A really nice guy named Tony treated us to the meal. Then Lindsey went in the mens bathroom because she’s cool (and slightly impatient).

Then we went to Mount Washington where we were treated, again, by Tony to ice cream. There weren’t a whole lot of flavors but it was so good! We took some pictures from the observation deck and then went back on the bus.

We journeyed back to the campsite and the say continued as was normal.


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DAY 11 – July 3

On day eleven, we drove to Harrisburg, PA. It was about a five hour bus ride and was about as normal as all the other ones, it had accents and games and conversations and sleeping and picture taking and singing and E-Z Passes. Everything was normal. We arrived at the campsite (basically someone’s front yard) and set up camp.

That’s basically it for day eleven.


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DAY 12 – July 4

Day 12 was a pretty cool day. Okay, it was awesome! We had to wake up early (the only bad thing about the day) and go to an Amish country tour. The ladyh showing us around was named Fay and she was really nice and knowledgable about the Amish, which I’m sure she had to be in order to be a guide.

It took us a while to get a tour, but we also stopped at the shops. There was a shop that had homemade pastries and dolls and ice cream. It also had a petting zoo and a playground so it was pretty cool. Then there was one that sold pretzels and root beer and more trinkets. That one was really neat too. The pretzels were delicious, as was the root beer. The last one we went to sold quilts and pillows as well, and they had a full on petting zoo with ducks and swans and donkeys and chickens and deer and a llama (I named him George Lopez) and a yak (or something else) named Susie.

After the tour, we went back to the camp site, and one of the workers came up and told us that they had just had a ‘Welcome New Owners’ party and that they had saved the leftovers for us. We had some food and went swimming as well. Then we dried off, changed, and got back on the bus to go to Hershey Park (they spelled it Hersheypark but that bothers me so I’m not going to spell it like that).

At Hershey park, there were a lot of roller coasters, and I mean ROLLER COASTERS. They had loop the loops and high speeds and LONG lines. The lines were so long that by the time my group found the actual entrance to one, we only had enough time for that one. Then we went back to the bus just in time for fireworks which were amazing.

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DAY 13 – July 5

Today was a drive day, we drove all the way to Connecticut. We set up all of our tents, then were told that we were on the wrong campsite. It worked out though, because our next campsite had a huge fire pit and we made a bonfire.

Later in the night we discovered “the Foot,” (Patrick, ahem ahem!) which mysteriously appeared and kept re-appearing in all sorts of weird places. Kris screamed her head off when she found it on the gas pedal of the bus.

That was pretty much the day. Then we went to bed.

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Time to go home… We had a drive day, with all the usual stuff, except that the leaders all played a “hilarious” prank on us. They convinced us that the bus broke down and we were never getting home. We laughed really hard after all of our tears had dried. They said it was revenge for The Foot.



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