Public Lands Stewards: Wilderness Enriches the Soul

by | Land Stewards

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, …” – Wilderness Ranger, quietly muttering to himself.

I could tell you about everywhere I went this summer, and I could give a detailed report of everything I did there. Hell, I could probably even tell you why I was doing it. More difficult perhaps would be speaking about how I felt in those hours in the wilderness when so overcome with happiness, discomfort, fatigue, disbelief, or perhaps some irrefutable truth I could just about collapse. Sometimes, when it feels like the world is pressing in on all sides, the most freeing thing you could do, pure and simple, is climb a mountain. Of course, I can’t tell you why that is…What is it about the wilderness that enriches the soul? The vulnerable prettiness? The obscure and curious things? The shear geological magnitude? Maybe I think too much?
The Pasayten and Lake Chelan-Sawtooth has all of these things in abundance, and I was blessed to wander in the immensity of it. Along side old growths and open meadows, thick brush and burn, flowers come and gone, golden larches, soggy, dirty, dusty detours, toasty cabins, loose and shifty mountainsides, perfectly groomed trails, and a fair share of windy summits. Mosquitoes buzzing around my head and thoughts buzzing inside. Oh and lets not forget the hundreds of people roaming about.
I know this is sounding romanticized, I was doing a job after all, I’m a Forest Service and AmeriCorps representative so I wasn’t just gallivanting around feeling existential. No my dear citizens, I was serving the people by stewarding this slice of public land. So…If you’re considering a Mt. Adams Institute Public Lands Stewards internship in the Methow Valley don’t hesitate! If you immerse yourself in this experience many new job opportunities will present themselves, and connections and friendships will be forged. It has the potential to affect you profoundly!