We are entering our final month of the Public Lands Stewards program and I am stunned at how quickly the time has gone. I remember my first few weeks, when I was still getting my footing and there was still snow on the ground. Now there is snow once again, but it is freshly fallen.
I struggled for a while to figure out what my second and final blog was going to be about. I asked my work partner, Hannah, for advice and she gave me several suggestions: our cross cut trip, the hitch I did in the Enchantments, our trip packing down the ranger tent from Lyman Lake. All great suggestions, but I found my answer not in her suggestions, but in her. My program coordinator Marijke once described my position, the Entiat Wilderness Ranger position, as an arranged marriage. There are two Entiat rangers, and they work together constantly. I have been working all season with Hannah. We have done almost all of our work together, only separating when one of us takes a vacation, or when a specific assignment needs only one person. Our marriage has an expiration date, though, and it is quickly approaching. I am sad that we will soon part, but I am thankful for all that she has brought to my experience and for all that she has taught me. Someone once told me that there are no good jobs, only good supervisors, and I could say the same about work partners.
Some of the accomplishments that Hannah and I achieved this season:
Early in the season we had an eight-day work hitch where we hiked over 100 miles. For four days straight we saw no one except each other, and we still liked each other. That’s when I knew our marriage was going to be a success.
- We both received our cross cut and chainsaw certifications and both enjoyed cross cut more than chain saw.
- We share a love of desserts and food in general, and have made several amazing treats, including backcountry banana pudding, s’mores, and memorable baked Brie with cherry jam and honey crisp apple slices.
Hannah, thank you for this season. It has been wonderful.