Trail work absolutely rocks. It's got all the things I could want in a job: being outside and working in beautiful forests; seeing new places on a weekly (or so) basis; working with my hands and creating something; seeing the results of my hard work; making decisions, critial thinking and problem solving (to much more of an extent than I'd have imagined); and a good combination of individual labor and group cooperation. I could definitely see myself doing trail work on a seasonal basis in the future, hopefully for the SCA, which has just impressed me to no end as an organization. There's a 6-week paid position for SCA crew leaders and possible future crew leaders (that would be me) on the Pacific Crest Trail in southern California from October to November this year that I'm considering applying to. Ideally, I would finish up here in October, go do that, then head to Colorado and work at a mountain and be a snowboarding fanatic all winter; and finally head up a trail crew for SCA somewhere in the west (Alaska would be amazing) next summer. But there are so many other things I'd like to do too, so the plan is definitely very loose and subject to change. Basically, I think I'm pretty set on doing seasonal work in the west for at least the next year. I don't want to be tied down to a single place or a single job again just yet.
Back to things here: I won't go into detail about the music festival, except to say that there was NO good music, a lot of trashy, drugged-out people, and extremely cold, wet weather. It was not at all what we'd expected, which was made worse by the fact that we'd worked so hard and looked forward to it so much. Oh well. I got to see a little bit of Montana for the first time, anyway.
Otherwise, not much to report, except that I've recently seen a mama and baby moose (yay!!), bald eagle, herd of bighorn sheep, and the usual plethora of deer, elk and rodents. I was supposed to be doing riparian management (IDing and counting plant species along streambeds) this week, but the water levels are too high and OSHA decreed that we had fire hazards at our home base, so instead of IDing plants I spent the week hauling and stacking pile after pile of giant logs that the previous loggers left scattered around our base. My arms are incredibly sore. Next week I will be doing something equally unexciting--constructing a fence--and after that Mary and her friend are coming to visit and I think I'm taking them to the hot springs. Super excited for that!! But otherwise, it's going to be an uneventful week, so i probably won't write on here again for a while.
Oh, one more piece of exciting (to me) news: I have August 7th and 8th off, which is when Phish is playing at the Gorge, and I know at least 3 people who are going, so I am dead set on convincing this kid Chris here to drive out there with me. HURRAY!!!!!!!!!
Oops, that reminds me; I've been meaning to post my schedule for the summer. I'll try to do that soon.
Tired and brown recluse free,
Some more pictures for y'all:
Looking down at our Horse Creek camping area (from the first trip, when we were with the whole group still):
From work skills week, carrying a very heavy log down a pretty steel trail (I'm back right, in the overalls):
...And a cool picture I took of an abandoned cabin: