Winter has come… It is now October; the grass is icy and the air crisp. Our last month has come and I still remember the first time I drove up the long winding roads across the Columbia River and the sketchy metal Hood River bridge (not actually that sketchy anymore), past Husum Falls, past the dairy farms and the agricultural fields, past the forests, and lastly arrived here at the Conboy National Wildlife Refuge to a serene and quiet place that I have enjoyed very much.
In reference to my last blog post I successfully combat rolled my kayak in the White Salmon River and even took on the middle part of it from BZ down to Husum. I failed to try kiteboarding- but I did go skydiving on my birthday. I caught two Coho salmon and I have gone horseback riding around Mt. Adams’ base. The frogs have mostly disappeared in this cool spell, leaving us with much work to do at other organizations. In that light, we have worked at the Spring Creek Fish Hatchery working with the Fall Chinook return, gone electrofishing with members of USGS and the Yakama tribe in Rock Creek, visited Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge where we collected and planted Wapato seeds, and visited Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge where we took airboats out on the Columbia and planted trees on Sand Island.
I am excited for what is next and have come to appreciate this place and all it has to offer; staying in a place this long is a wonderful way to explore new territory and truly get used to it and integrate yourself. If I were staying the year I would be excited to go skiing once snow blankets come, but I will most likely head back to California shortly after the program ends and figure out what comes next for myself and my ambitions moving forward.