I realized pretty quickly after graduating from the University of Missouri – Columbia that an office job just wasn’t going to do it for me. Languishing inside during the most beautiful days of the year was just too painful for me to continue with. Then I found the perfect opportunity to get outside with Mt. Adams Institute and the Americorps program. I could finally enjoy the great outdoors while working to preserve and maintain the amazing wilderness areas in the Mt. Adams Ranger District.
Being a Public Land Stewards intern has allowed me to gain many skills and experiences. We clear fallen trees off the trail with chainsaws in the non-wilderness and crosscut saws in the wilderness. Using tools like pulaskis, shovels, and hazel hoes, we repair damaged or uneven trails. This district has seen quite a few fires in the past, and the burned areas have a lot more trees to clear and need a lot of work done to keep the trail hike-able. Some of the days include over 10 miles of hiking or swinging tools all day in the heat with little shade, but nothing beats the reward of fixing a trail up so that everyone can enjoy the area.