Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Welcome to Shenandoah National Park!

Hello everyone I arrived in Luray, Virginia Saturday May 12th after a beautiful drive; and thanks to my GPS I got a little lost.  An FYI for everyone you should never truly rely on your GPS because it wants to take you to the exact address; and I learned working within the National Parks that the whole park has one address.

When I arrived at Head Quarters an LE Park Ranger met me and let me into my house. The house is historical but nice and I have two roommates; one of which works with Fire and the other is doing his LE field training from The Grand Canyon.  They are both really nice; I have not met all of the seasonal employees yet because their seasons do not start until Memorial Day.  The house gets pretty lonely at night and it becomes very dark but I am definitely getting used to the change. I have no cell phone reception, no air, and no television channels but I am doing just fine.
My 1st day I was really excited because I received a badge and got to ride along with District Ranger Dixon Freeland. I was finally about to see some of Skyline drive but due to the fog I thought I was not going to be able to appreciate it as much as I should. But to my surprise it was so beautiful even with the fog, one minute you can be looking at an overlook and the view would be amazing and clear and the next you could not see three feet ahead of you.
Tuesday on the other hand was sunny and clear. I drove around with Dixon some more and became a little more familiar with the park and the people. I was fortunate enough to witness an LE supervisor and an LE ranger interview a suspect who allegedly was involved in numerous thefts at the park. This was an experience that I will never forget and I am so happy that I was able to take place in.    
Wednesday and Thursday I attended Operational Leadership Training; which was a 16-hour class on safety and the importance it has on our everyday lives.  This course was both educational and useful; I will definitely use this information on a daily basis.    

My lieu days for this past weekend were Friday-Monday therefore I decided to use my time off in a fun and educational manner; I drove to Colonial National Historical Park and visited Erik and Jenn for the weekend. It was beautiful and I really enjoyed my time there. It is amazing to me how we are in the same state but are working at two completely different parks.

I am really looking forward to the wonderful things I get to learn and experience this summer. I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am so far!

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