With only one month left in the season, time is beginning to move very fast. My time as a Public Lands Stewards – AmeriCorps member at the Entiat Ranger District has made this one of the best summers of my life. There aren’t many other jobs where you can spend 40 hours/week (or more) outdoors. After working with the Forest Service this summer, it will be hard to ever get accustomed to living and working in the city, and frankly I don’t plan on ever doing that again.
Since my last blog post not many things have changed but the weather. It has become very frigid in the mountains which represents the end of the season. Over the last two months much of my time has been based out of the Lake Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness and within the Methow Valley. My work schedule has consistently been 4 nights and 5 days in the backcountry since the beginning of June. As far as my daily schedule, there have been a lot more encounters with hikers and bikers. The difference between the beginnings of the season versus now is the amount of people, and the amount of questions they have to ask. I now can distinguish between hikers from the city vs. local. The main difference is the preparation amongst people during the hiking season. Our job is help people who are new to the area and really have no sense of direction. In preparation for going into the backcountry, I know it is important to bring extra maps and know the area that you are headed too. You need to know how to get around so you can guide others who are disorganized. I have recently met a lot of hikers from the Seattle area who are new to hiking. It is great running into these types of people who are eager to get in shape and see new things, and in the end, I become their guide in the backcountry.
I can honestly say that the area is some of the most beautiful country I have ever been in. The main areas of focus within this valley have been on the Foggy Dew Trail and Crater Creek Trail. These trails thrive with mountain and dirt bikers, which has enticed me to buy my own adventure mobile. To say the least, this area has been very busy the last few months.
In the Entiat Ranger District, the same conditions are present, but the users are different. Dirt bikers everywhere! Along the Mad River trail seems to be a very popular spot; the rangers cabin is the selling point for me. During Labor Day weekend Forest and myself encountered over 50 groups of bikers! So far, that is a record. Also while we were there, a 100K running race took place. There is so much going on in the woods!
Upper Eagle Lake
October 21 marks the end of my time with Mt. Adams Institute, AmeriCorps, and the Entiat Ranger District. I am sad to see that date come, but trust and believe this is not the end for my forest endeavors…
Upper Eagle Lake