This summer has been an adventure and a learning experience. As an avid hiker, spending my summer exploring and researching National Parks and other natural and cultural sites in Washington is a dream come true. I was not only fortunate enough to travel to multiple parks and sites in Washington State, but also gain a thorough understanding of the opportunities available for youth in the Evergreen State (most of which I did not know about when I was a “youth” myself). Although the number of opportunities that were available at parks and cultural sites amazed me, I realized that there are several components that hinder middle and high school-age students from accessing these opportunities.
The word “awesome” has become fairly common in the everyday speech of our generation. However, the word’s original definition would not exactly describe a sandwich or a general state of being as it does today. “Awesome: impressive and frightening: so impressive or overwhelming as to inspire a strong feeling of admiration or fear.” If you have found a sandwich that fits that description, please contact me immediately.
This week, we were lucky enough to visit the North Cascades Institute (NCI) where we had a tour led by the lovely Chris Kiser, a Program Coordinator at NCI. Completed in 2005, NCI is located right on Diablo Lake, a gorgeous, turquoise lake just south of Ross Lake tucked into the mountains with incredible views in every direction. To start off, Chris amazed us with the fact that the North Cascades National Park (NOCA) is the second most ecologically diverse National Park in the country. NOCA is also the only park “complex” in the United States, meaning it includes both National Park and National Recreation.