Time can have an unearthly quality. Watch the clock at the end of your shift, and five minutes can feel like five hours. Yet days, weeks, or months even, can pass in the blink of an eye. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was striding across a temporary stage on our football field, accepting my undergraduate diploma with a green lei around my neck?
It’s been six weeks since I arrived in Denali. Six weeks since I made it back to my home away from home: the mountains, the tundra landscape, the midnight sun and northern lights, and my main man and partner, John.
Luckily, countless adventures and stories are proof that I have really been here for nearly two months. Here is an abridged version of what I’ve seen and done so far.
I’ve worked on ground sheep surveys, estimating productivity (how many lambs are being born each year)
stayed in a backcountry ranger cabin
walked and hiked almost 100 miles in the park so far,
backpacked and camped multiple weekends,
made snicker salad (to show my friends what a midwestern “salad” looks like–more whipped cream, anyone?)
crossed my first river in the park,
stood on top of a mountain butt-naked to embrace self-love and physical accomplishment (sorry, no photos here for that one, folks)
attended a northern lights painting workshop
taken numerous naps in my hammock
watched the midnight sun actually set
ran my first 5k ever
and finally, (and most recently), conquered my fear of getting sick while helping out with aerial Dall sheep surveys in the park.
At work, I’ve been working on a variety of projects, most notably reorganizing the wolf webpages on the official Denali website. There is still more to do, but you can check out what I’ve completed so far.
I won’t wait nearly six weeks again before writing, so stay tuned for more thoughts and reflections on life as a seasonal employee!