In the short time I’ve been here in the canyon, I feel like I’ve done and seen more than I had in all of 2014. Everyone I’ve met has been pleasant, helpful, and excited for me to be here. I can’t help but let the excitement grow within myself as I take in the spectacular scenery and wildlife.
As I arrived in Hells Canyon, I scoped out the office I was assigned to work, found my bunkhouse, tracked down the local grocery store, and found the perfect fishing spot on the Salmon River, just below a nested pair of Bald Eagles. Now that the necessities are squared away, it’s time to get to work. My job as the River Ranger / Recreation Program assistant is to support the full time River Ranger and the Forest Services’ recreation management program for the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA). A lot of my duties will take place at Pittsburg Landing, a popular launch site for the Snake River in the Hells Canyon NRA, as well as on a jet boat ensuring that the historic sites and museums along the river are maintained and ready for the public to enjoy.
Hells Canyon is a very remote area, from the town of Riggins it’s well over an hour drive to Pittsburg Landing, if the roads are in good condition. One could get lost in the canyon for days and not see another human being if they wanted to. The Canyon is as beautiful as is it remote. It holds an abundance of treasures, from the history of Native Americans and the fossils that lie on the riverbanks, to the geologic story in the canyons cliffs and mountains.
I’m feeling blessed and thankful to have been selected for this opportunity. There is no telling what the next 9 months has in store, but if this week has given me any insight, I just can’t wait.