Days One and Two

4-29-13

I finally made it down to Ocmulgee WMA last night around 8:30pm.  So far, the place is pretty neat.  It’s rustic, but no more rustic than an old farmhouse, with working kitchen appliances, working A/C, no internet, and a pretty porch I can’t wait to use once May 15th comes around (end of turkey season). 

It’s going to get pretty cozy once Mike comes down: I hope he’s ready to live with two women…God help him.  Casey and I hit it off; you have to be pretty low maintenance to thrive in a living situation like this, so I think we’ll all be okay.  I was given some keys to an F-250 UGA truck (2WD), to the check station, and to the Oaky Woods WMA check station.  Eventually I’ll get keys to the various WMA and other property gates.  Right now there are a handful of camouflaged dudes chillin’ in my front yard, and I’m just new enough that I’m not sure I want to hang out on the front porch while drinking my coffee.  Maybe once I get a feel for the place, I’ll be able to sit there like I own it.  Right now, I’m more clueless than they appear to be, wandering around on their phones.

Josh, my direct supervisor, is going to show up eventually and then the fun begins!  I’m working with him on hair snares, which involves scent tablets (imagine concentrated fruit smell), corn, and barbed wire.  He said last night, “You know that feeling you get when you’re lost?  We’re just gonna do that for a couple weeks and then all the hard stuff will be done J.“  Strangely, that excites me.  Guess that means I’m in the right field, huh?
For the time being, I’m enjoying my coffee at our large bar counter in the kitchen, writing this, looking at a topographical/road map of the area, and taking a break from reading the book of Esther.  It’s more “calm before the storm,” but it’s much more peaceful than yesterday or the day before.  I’m looking forward to getting rolling.
Josh and I definitely took the scenic routes today.  We never got lost…I heard from a pretty cool guy once that “you’re never lost until you don’t get to where you’re going.”  We got where we were trying to go, we just spent a lot of time spinning, fishtailing, and cursing at the 4WD DNR truck to keep us on the “road.” 
We were just looking for hair snares from last summer, praying they were still set up and intact.  Only one of the ten (or so) we checked today had a tree fallen in it, so that was pretty solid.  Tomorrow I’ll drive over to Oaky Woods WMA (on the West side of the Ocmulgee River) to meet Josh for hair snare construction and reconstruction.  Today we were mostly on public land, but tomorrow we’ll be on private land: Josh is doing telephone recon tonight to ensure we don’t get shot upon our arrival. 
Things I learned today for me to do tomorrow:  Snacks. Even just driving around in a truck can make you hungry.  Tissues.  I’m beyond ready for this 3 week no voice-allergy-sickness-thing to be over.  Camera.  Just in case I need to capture something cool.  Or hilarious.  Post-work game plan.  It’s 5pm and I’m bored already.  Tomorrow I’m going to have a plan of attack.  Bug spray.  The mosquitoes are insane.  Big. Lots. Insistent.
All in all, today was a pretty successful day.  I’m still excited about working with/for Josh, and I’m glad he’s not just throwing me into the woods to figure it out on my own. 

4-30-13
Last night was a little rough.  I wrote alot, but it was stream of consciousness and not particularly conducive to sharing with the entire internet.  If you really want to read my broken ramblings, we can personally arrange that.
It just was day one, after a big “day zero,” and a big “day negative one” (i.e. the day before I left).  It was a lot of newness thrown at me all at once, and it was just tough for about an hour.
Today I awoke renewed after a solid night’s sleep.  It was foggy and mysterious outside, but I knew the sun would break through.

I was right!  We set up 7-10 hair snares today: lots of barbed wire, hammers, nails, greenbriar, and blackberries.  It was pretty thankless work, but we’re ahead of schedule, so Josh is pretty happy in spite of spending all day wrangling wire. AND we saw a bear track today!

Not much else to report, I’m in a Chic-fil-a in Bonaire getting wifi and doing recon on my area.  I still couldn’t tell you where I live, exactly, but I know what roads not to take if you don’t have 4-wheel drive!  I want to find a post office, maybe a martial arts studio, a healthcare facility, and all the things necessary to survive in a new town.
Wish me luck!

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