I moved from Carbondale, IL to a small town named Park Hills which is only a 25 minute drive into work every day. It has all the essentials you need such as a grocery store, gas station, Mexican restaurant, and gym, plus the rent is super cheap! The Forest Service office in Potosi has been very welcoming and helpful in getting the hang of things. The employees are very friendly and have on numerous occasions let me know that if I have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to ask them. I’ve been getting out with the recreation folks a lot getting all the parks up and running for opening day. This includes cutting down hazard trees, getting the water systems up and running for clean drinking water, signage, and basic maintenance. I have also gone out with the wilderness and trails technician and logged out a couple trails for the upcoming season getting them up to standards for folks that hike them. In addition I’ve joined the timber crew learning to mark trees and see how that whole process works. My supervisor is very insightful, explaining how the Forest Service works, helping me get all settled in, pushing my paper work through, and answering any questions I have.
(Rock Pile Wilderness area, one of the three wilderness areas we are responsible for at the Potosi District)
The schedule is really nice, I’ve been alternating between five- nine hour days one week and four- nine hour days the next. So I basically have a three day weekend every other week. Once the season starts to warm up I’ll be switching to four- 10 hour days regularly. This flexibility allows me to work 40 and be done for the week or come in and accumulate some extra time so I can take a day or two off if I have something planned. Starting in late April an AmeriCorps crew is going to be out here working with us on fixing up some trails. I’ll be working alongside the wilderness and trails tech here, but once he feels I have the hang of it he plans on turning that over to me. So, I’ll be getting some real good hands-on-learning of how to run a trail crew which is very exciting to me being an aspiring wilderness and trails tech.
(Marble Creek Recreation Area, swimming hole)
When I am not working there are a lot of trails here in my neck of the woods that I am going to have to explore. I enjoy backpacking and plan on making some of them a weekend trip for the longer trails. I also enjoy mountain biking and there are some well-known trails out here such as the Berryman Trail. I can’t wait for the summer season to be in full swing so I can head down to the river and get my float on as well.
(Council Bluff Recreation Area)
(Annual Silver Mines Recreation Area Kayak Race)