Monday, May 30, 2011

Shenandoah National Park: Week 2

Wow! Here I am, already at the end of my second week in Shenandoah, and I'm having more fun than ever. This week has provided me with the opportunity to grow closer with my roommates, get to know the others in the housing circle better, and learn more about my co-workers. Each day was a new and different adventure and I honestly wouldn't trade it for anything!

My week started on Tuesday with SAR (search and rescue) training which I wrote about in my last post. On Wednesday I drove up to the North District of the park to work with one of the LE rangers there named Jim. It was really great to have the opportunity to ride along with him and talk with him about his experiences both at Shenandoah and all the other parks he has worked at. It was a slow day for the most part but we did make a traffic stop and we also stopped to help some visitors who were changing a tire on their camper. Thursday John, Pete, and I, along with several other park employees met at Black Mountain for tactical search and rescue training. Basically, we were dropping a 450 lb weight (simulating a patient, a rescuer, and a litter) off the side of the mountain to test the equipment to see how it would hold up in a real rescue situation. John and I helped out wherever we could and at the end of the day we rappelled off the side of Black Mountain! Friday provided me with the opportunity to see a whole other side of the search and rescue operation. I worked with PSAR (preventative search and rescue). The people who work in this division are educators for the most part. They either hike trails or stand at trail heads and advise park visitors about the proper footwear for hiking, how much water to drink and how to be safe while enjoying nature. The day I was with them we hung signs along the Appalachian Trail warning visitors that part of the trail was closed because of recent bear activity. Saturday I worked with the fee department at the Old Rag Mt. trail. I helped greet visitors, answer questions and tell them where to park in order to allow as many visitors as possible to be able to hike and enjoy the park.

Every day at Shenandoah is packed full of new experiences and things to learn. One afternoon after a brief thunderstorm John and I were driving down Skyline Drive coming home from work and we had to stop at Jewell Hollow Overlook because the view was so amazing! It was one of those moments that literally took my breath away. On the same drive home we also saw a wild turkey, a handful of deer, and 3 bear cubs! I never know what will happen on any given day and I love it! I hope everyone has been enjoying their parks as much as I am!
Until next week,

No comments:

Post a Comment