At 3am on a Sunday morning, I groggily hauled myself out of bed and stumbled to the family car. My dad and I had decided the afternoon before that we wanted to see the sunrise on Rainier before meeting up with our extended family for a hike. Even though we were tired, an hour long BBC special on the element tungsten made the two hour drive much more enjoyable. No seriously. Contact me if you have any questions about tungsten.
Early Monday morning we, the interns, piled into cars to drive up to Denny Creek in Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest (MSNF). After a groggy shopping stop in North Bend, we arrived at the Franklin Falls trailhead. There we met Marta, a former telephone company employee who after retirement joined the Forest Service and now leads trail work parties. Marta instructed us on how to use a totter (mechanical wheelbarrow) since we were spreading gravel along the trail. We worked with a Student Conservation Association high school trail crew to fill the totter and buckets with gravel. When the gravel was dumped on the trail we raked it out which was surprisingly tiring. We ate lunch on a rock overlooking the river which only became a problem when a plastic cap fell in. Luckily we were able to save it with some quick maneuvering. After lunch we continued with the gravel work but took turns removing roots from the trail. I find trail work very gratifying since it’s easy to see the progress I’ve made.
This weekend, I wanted to go camping. However, between my two friends and I, we barely had enough money to fill up a tank of gas and buy some mac-and-cheese. The question was, where could we go that would be beautiful, cheap, AND available last-minute? After much last-minute scrambling for food and supplies, we started driving south with no plan other than to find a good camping spot. After some detours to various state parks where all the campsites were full, we decided to make our way down to Mount St. Helens. On our way into the park, we realized that to go to the official campsites, we had to have a Northwest Forest Pass. At the time, we were pretty unaware that it only cost $5 for the day and that you could pay with a card (none of us had thought ahead and brought cash…).
Olympic National Park is composed of a varied set of environs, everything from verdant green rainforests to coastal beaches to jagged mountain peaks. The Staircase area of the park, in the southeastern corner, is one that I am quite familiar with having lived there for a month while working on a trail crew. Perhaps my residence there makes me biased, but I can attest that the Staircase area is one of the most beautiful areas of the park.
Hey guys, I thought it was about time to introduce myself! I’m Sophie, one of four SCA (Student Conservation Association) interns doing outreach this summer at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park! I’m a born and raised Seattleite but I will be returning to school in the fall for my junior year at UCLA. At UCLA I’m a member of the Hiking Club and Student Wellness Commission’s Health, Nutrition and Fitness Committee. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a passion for the outdoors. My family and I have a tradition of going hiking together every summer. In college I go hiking almost every weekend with the Hiking Club at UCLA. During my junior year in high school I took my love of the outdoors to the next level by working with a Northwest Youth Corps back-country trail crew for five weeks in the Cascades. That meant five weeks of solely a diet of beans and rice and only one opportunity to shower. At the end of the trip we were rewarded with a steak dinner and copious amounts of ice cream. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.
When hiking, it’s important to take many things into consideration. For example, where are you going? What will the terrain be like? How long is the hike? Is the trail well marked?