When I return home and think back on my time out in Idaho, I am going to remember the hilarious, fun, touching moments that sum up my summer. My main inspiration for pursuing this internship was the opportunity to gain invaluable field-research skills that I couldn’t learn in an academic building, but I am coming away with much more. Each intern here has helped make my summer special in a variety of ways. Together we have seen the entire watershed from the top of Sawtelle mountain, watched three season of How I Met Your Mother, and floated the river by Bear Gulch in car tires. We have recorded the size of hundreds of fish at the Buffalo fish ladder, put up miles of cattle fences to protect the river, and listened to hours of country music while piled into our lovely Suburban. These guys deserve individual shout outs though, so here goes.
|Summer Field Crew 2013!|
(from left to right:) Chris, Bess, Arielle, Jeff, Chau, & Will
My favorite moments of the summer so far, by intern (and grad student):
Jeff: Jeff is the lead adventurer of the group, planning excursions tough enough to challenge even the bravest hiker. (Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic. But still – he loves a good hike.) Jeff, Bess, and I went backpacking a few weekends ago at Palisades Creek, and Jeff was super excited to try out his emergency shelter tent, which is essentially a large garbage bag held up by a long piece of string. Even though it was literally freezing outside (Jeff’s water-bottle froze overnight), he slept in his bright orange emergency tent, despite the fact that there was plenty of room in mine and Bess’s tent. He wanted to prove to himself that it worked and that he could do it – and even though I tease him for sleeping in a garbage bag, I love how committed Jeff is to being a true outdoorsman/backpacker.
Chris: watching The Lion King on my laptop - which we propped up on a tree stump - at Henry’s Lake on July 4th. (A little background: once or twice a week a pair of interns heads up to Henry’s Lake to do boat inspections on behalf of Fremont County Weed Control, a government agency whose mission is to prevent invasive species from destroying the gorgeous and important natural resources in the area, including the water in Henry’s Lake. The biggest threats to the lake are zebra and quagga mussels, which have the potential to wipe out an entire ecosystem. They can be transported on boats, so we do inspections to make sure that boats from out of state aren’t bringing in any of these evil little buggers). While waiting for boats to come for inspection, Chris and I entertained ourselves by singing along to the soundtrack and reciting the memorable lines of this classic movie. Each time a car pulled up I would laugh while wondering what the driver thought of two twenty-something-year-olds watching a Disney movie outside in the 80 degree heat on July 4th.
Will: Will and I spent one of his first days here working together as a team, putting up a cattle fence on the river by Mesa Falls. At the end, we met Matt and Chris who had done their half… wearing work gloves. Will and I just looked at each other and said that we were too hard-core for work gloves. After all, the fence was only a little rusty. This started a whole series of Arielle and Will adventures, and we have since dubbed ourselves “team A/W-esome” – also known as the “Dream Team”.
Bess: A group of us went to Five-11-Main for lunch one day, and Matt (our field-crew leader) and his lovely wife Paige ended up joining us. After a story Matt told, Bess and I both said “oh my GOD” at the same exact time, with the same sweeping hand gesture. This is constantly happening to Bess and me, and it always leads us to say that: “we are just the same person”, which is ironic because Bess and I are actually very different. Somehow, though, we tend to always say the same things at the same time, and it always makes us giggle.
Chau: Chau was the last of the group to arrive, and we were all excited to welcome the last member of Henry & The Forks to our little blue house. The moment she came in the door, we all crowded around introducing ourselves and offering to help move her things into the house. It was so great to have the whole group finally together, and even though we probably overwhelmed her a ton in that first five minutes, she was a total champ and didn’t seem fazed at all.
Zach: One of the first nights I was here, Zach somehow got rope-a-doped into playing a Ke$ha song on the guitar. Needless to say, it was hilarious. (Jeff did “interpretive dance” which is also a truly special memory!) Zach and I have spent several evenings at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, playing/singing along to any country song Zach can find the chords to online. We both like 90s country, and its so nice to sing along to these songs that sound like my childhood – with a new friend.
I am only ½ way done with my summer, and I can’t wait to make a whole new bundle of Idaho memories.
love and trout...