I am eight months into my internship now, it’s mid-November, and there is snow on the mountains again, just like when I arrived. Things seem to be coming full circle and much has happened since my last blog entry. For one, I’ve been augmented to a recreation position, and now spend a good portion of my week maintaining campgrounds and trails, which has been great. Each morning I gear up with equipment, have a quick meeting about the day’s projected work with the recreation manager, and then head out to a place called Ward Lake. A 15 min ride from Ketchikan, Ward Lake exhibits much of the natural beauty which is the Tongass National Forest (TNF). The TNF is the largest temperate rainforest in the world and is teeming with life; to say it’s a “cool place to work” would be an understatement. Birds, bears, otters, minks, squirrels and salmon all keep me company as I execute my duties.
While servicing campgrounds and trails is a larger part of my work now, I get to do a few other things in different areas as well. On Tuesdays, all employees of the South East Alaskan Discovery Center, have a group check-in meeting. On Fridays we have educational events, both online and in the field, with our most recent one being about bats. These programs teach kids all about plants and animals through fun activities like scavenger hunts along a trail, or arts and crafts.I’ve also had the chance to go out by boat to various islands with the Ketchikan Misty Fjords recreation team; it’s a very involved process of checking tide tables while keeping in constant contact with the district. Last week I saw two humpback whales outside of my window, I mean wow. I try not to look like a tourist and take photos, but the will to share experiences is great, and I often give in, kind of like that ring movie.
I’m currently sitting at my desk overlooking the harbor, reflecting on things I’ve done so far, but also of things to come. Where will I be in a few months? What will I be doing? Who will I meet? Well, nothing is for sure, as nothing ever is, the best I can do is to be mindful of my goals, and grateful for this opportunity and the people who made it possible.