Monday, June 12, 2017

Program Visit: BUFF

Last but not least:  the final visit of Summer 2016!

Junior (Pro) Ranger Finn and I arrived at Buffalo National River just before dinner time.  We arrived at the campsite of Mom and Dad Lewis (my parents) who drove from Texas to meet us there.  

The Lewis Family campsite

They invited ProRanger Shauni Kerkhoff and her summer roommate Ranger Patrick Jarrett to join us for a homecooked meal.  The weather was crazy hot.  After tent camping for the night, I headed to the Ranger Station for some meetings and a plaque presentation to District Ranger Kevin Moses.  The junior ranger stayed with his grandparents and finished up his junior ranger books.

Kerkhoff and Moses in the final plaque presentation of 2016

Later we all made a visit to the Tyler Bend Visitor Center.  Shauni had been thinking ahead and mailed a number of junior ranger books to our house.  It took Ranger Montana quite some time to review all his books and administer several oaths and award badges!

Working on badges with Ranger Montana!
We took a long drive from the Middle District of the park to the Upper District where we met Ranger Bell (see Shauni’s blog for the hospitality Ranger Bell and his wife have shown to Shani this summer) and a visit to the Ponca Elk Education Center.

Fun at the Ponca Elk Education Center
Then it was a hike on the Lost Valley Trail to see the Natural Bridge and the Cob Cave. The hike was beautiful, despite the late summer dry creek beds this late in the summer.

Dry creek beds
I learned that there are many similarities between OZAR and BUFF, both the parks and there issues as well as the physical environment.  Also, did I mention that they were both really, really hot?  Like steam baths.  Heat indexes were running between 100 and 105 degrees while I was visiting the parks.  Although the days were roasting, it was surprisingly comfortable to sleep in a tent.

Meet the staff at the Tyler Bend Visitor Center
Our last day at Buffalo National River started with some cinnamon rolls as big as our heads!  Then we spent some time back at the Visitor Center where Finn helped out!  
New employee

Then, it was time for us, and for Shauni, to leave Buffalo River.  Shauni was heading back home to Ohio and Junior Ranger Finn and I were stopping to see some relatives near Jonesboro, Arkansas. Then I flew back to Philadelphia and Finn headed out for a weeklong adventure of some national parks with his grandparents.

Up next:  PHL.  Home Sweet Home.  See you again in Summer 2017!

No comments:

Post a Comment