Sunday, June 19, 2011

North Carolina

Well, I've been in North Carolina for almost two weeks now. I had no idea what to expect coming here, but I've come to really enjoy it here. I've been working hard at mapping noxious and invasive species of weeds here on the refuge, and have been enjoying myself whenever I haven't been working. I've discovered that the beach is the best place to be when its 90+ degrees and humid and that it makes for a very good break after wading through thick vegetation all day. Luckily quite a bit of what we've worked on mapping here has been in the farm fields and along canals and ditch lines, as well as on river banks. After finishing most all of the farm fields here we took canoes and canoed the creek here to map alligatorweed, so it was a nice break from hiking through the fields.

The beach has been fun after work, I've enjoyed wading out and playing in the waves, and tried body boarding, although it is rather challenging. I bought a kite and have enjoyed flying it on the beach. We went to a kite festival that was here as well, there was a kite the size and shape of a blue whale! it was pretty amazing to look at. We also drove down the outer banks and took a ferry out to an island called Ocracoke Island. It had the best beach I've been to so far.

This weekend after working our 40 hours, we drove up to Washington DC to check out our nations capitol. I saw the constitution and the declaration of independence, and toured around several museums and art galleries as well as seeing capitol hill. I also made a trip to the DC temple, it looks like a fortress and is really beautiful inside.

Its been pretty fun being out here in North Carolina staying in a beach house, and I would definitely come back to the East Coast again.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Moab and Such

Southern Utah

During the two weeks I had training in Logan, there was also Memorial Day weekend. Aaron Harker and I had planned on going to southern Utah for the weekend. We met up with Aaron in Brigham City and then drove the rest of the way to Moab that night. We slept on a tarp and our pads just on the side of a gravel road that led to the Mountain Biking trail we did the next morning. It was a really fun trail, which was about 4.5 miles one way over quite a bit of slickrock to Arches National Park boundary where we went on a short hike back to see a place called Klondike Bluffs. After that we went and found what looked like a nice place to go on a short hike to a swimming hole, unfortunately a few hundred other people had the same idea, so it was pretty crowded, but it still felt great to cool off by jumping off the top of a waterfall to a small pool at the bottom.

One of the things we wanted to do while we were down there was hike through a slot canyon. We found one that sounded pretty fun called Horse Play Canyon, it didn’t require any ropes and said that water was avoidable. It was over by Hanksville, Utah. We spent the night in my tent there, getting blasted by sand because of how windy it was. We also found a scorpion under my tent when we packed it up. We went to church there that morning, and then found the canyon we were going to hike. It was about 30 miles out in the middle of the desert. The canyon was pretty darn narrow in places, and quite a tight fit even for me. We made it through just fine though, although we were really sand blasted by the end since the wind was gusting up to 50 mph. We decided to avoid the sand that night to sleep in the car in the church parking lot. We then woke up the next morning and drove back home. It was a great adventure!

Weed Mapper

I wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing this summer and my friend Dillon Harker told me about a job that he had applied for. This job was with USU and we would go all over the US mapping noxious and invasive species of weeds. I applied for the job and interviewed for it over the phone while I was in Colorado. I heard back a week after I got back from Colorado that I got the job. I was pretty excited about it. I had training for a week in Great Falls Montana. It was really pretty up there. Then I had two more weeks of training in Logan. I found that I really liked Logan, it’s a really beautiful area, and so is Cache Valley.