Public Lands Stewards: Solitary in the Outdoors

by | Land Stewards

The first few months of my time as a Mt. Adams Institute, Public Lands Stewards (PLS) AmeriCorps member have flown by- filled to the brim with stunning places, infinite amounts of mosquitoes (yikes!), and plenty of hard, rewarding work.

As a PLS member in the Chelan Ranger District, I work for 8 days at a time hiking, camping, backpacking and working in the rugged North Cascade mountains. I have really been enjoying intimately familiarizing myself with a new landscape, and making myself feel entirely at home within it.

Most recently, I went on my first solo backcountry trip up to Lyman Lake and along a 20 mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail. This route is studded with striking high alpine lakes, snowy mountain passes, and imposing, rocky basins. It feels like a true privilege to call this place my daily commute to work, my office, and my living space. I have also found that when I am out working alone, the opportunities to see wildlife increase; marmots trundle along, unabashed by my presence, pikas squeak to one another, and I wake up in the morning to find nosy deer peering at me from just outside of my tent. Over the years, I have often found that spending solitary time outdoors allows for a greater opportunity to commune with nature- and this summer has solidified this belief, and the joy that comes with it.

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