Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Busy Week at the Forest

Monday - We spent the day at Resource Management.   The cultural resource specialist took us on a hike through the parks trails and we looked over some of the old homesteads that once belonged to residents of the area before the government purchased the site to create the park.  Interestingly enough, the site was littered with artifacts from the 30’s.  There was plenty of glassware and old metal objects such as buckets and railroad ties.  As the day went on there was a call from a visitor who had found some dead owls in one of the cabin areas, so we went over to check it out.  We helped prep the specimens for shipping.  They were sent to one of the NPS labs to be examined and cataloged.  We got a great feel for how the resource management team works and we got to spend the day out on the trails. 

Tuesday – Tuesday morning we meet with our supervisor and a few weather “experts” and helped build a weather station at the park.  Apparently there was a gap in the map of weather conditions in Virginia and this station will help fill the hole.  Building the station was relatively easy but all the calibrations had to be exact for it to work.  Because Prince William is a forested park having the satellite and the sensors pointed exactly right and making sure that the tree line isn’t obstructing the signal is key.  The cool thing about this weather station is that it is available online, so anyone can look up the info online and find out what the conditions are like in the area; this is especially useful for alerting fire conditions.       

 *we had some really cool pictures but our internet connection is real slow and they just wouldn't upload, after a couple hours of trying we gave up...maybe we'll slip them into a future post.*  

Wednesday- On Wednesday we took a trip down to Fredericksburg, but it wasn’t all fun and games.  We took another PEB.  The weather was hot and the mile and a half was run on gravel.  Of course Charles beat the field in the mile and a half run.  In a testament to hard work and a strong workout schedule, Jess, Charles, and I all improved our scores from the time we took the PEB at the customs house.

Thursday- On Thursday we hosted the Wild land Fire Training Field Day.  Since everyone else seems to have posted on this already I’ll keep this short.  We ran though the pack test and fire shelters and for the rest of the day we practiced constructing fire line and hose lay.      

Friday- On Friday we went out to Harpers Ferry and participated in Non-Emergency Vehicle Operations Training.  We were allowed to drive different law enforcement vehicles.  Our supervisor drives a humungous Ford F150 and we tried our best to navigate the course with terrible lines of sight.  But afterwards all the other vehicles felt toys and we were able to zip through the course with no problem. 

All in all, we had a packed week and learned a lot thanks to all the instructors at Prince William and Harpers Ferry.  And it was nice to see some of our fellow ProRangers again. 

Till Next Week,

Subhi and Jess from PRWI

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