My name is Austin Candela and I am one of two recreation/facilities MAI interns (volunteer around these parts) on the Mt. Hood National Forest this year. I’m told we’re to be working elsewhere on the forest throughout the year – though my reporting work location for these first few weeks has been the recently remodeled Zig Zag Ranger station back up in the Carpenter Shop.
It’s in a quaint little town off highway 26 on the way UP to Mt. Hood. The views are great, the weather (generally wetter than other parts of the Hood) has been Spring like all month and all the folks working here have been most welcoming.
My supervisor has been most helpful, full of answers and very open to any and all inquiries I’ve brought unto him. I’ve learned much about the layout, SOP’s and culture of the USFS since coming on board. I had absolutely no idea how expansive a job scope some of the facilities realm covers. Everything from vault toilets, a lookout tower staircase, warming huts and hot spring tubs to employee/volunteer homes (often times historic) and Timberline Lodge.
The generations that have come (and will continue to come through our forest) and history (even just with the facilities) here is rich and very appealing to me personally. For those of you that recall that C.C.C. (Civilian Conservation Corps) video Aaron put on for us, you’ll remember that bygone era we spoke about historically. The (craft) works of that generation are prevalent throughout the forest and that importance of historic preservation is an obvious shared value amongst the folks working here.
This has been most helpful for me in piecing together the way that certain districts/job series/hiring processes/projects…etc get done. We’ve been exposed to so many faces it’s been difficult at times to keep them all organized. I think the term “fresh meat” applies to the new “volunteers” on the block and there hasn’t been a week gone by without expressed interest from all facets of the forest for sinking a fork in us and getting us exposed to some of the project work these good folks have coming up. I’m very much looking forward to the exposure, training, good work and scenic beauty I’m sure to encounter throughout this year. The on-boarding process has been great and the outlook very positive.
For a more thorough reading on who we are and what we’re doing (just in case you aren’t another MAI Intern or MAI staff) please refer to my comrades writings either before or after this slam-dunk of a blog. I am positive I’m not the most well written amongst the group; as such I’ve come prepared with some shots for you all to get a glimpse of the facilities work I’ve been a part of so far:
Yep you guessed it: Termites!
Where are Timon and Pumba when you need em?
Until next time….