Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The End of an Era...

... but the beginning of a much grander era.

My time at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical park has come to an end.  I already expressed my disbelief in last weeks post, and I guess after a few days of leaving Maryland it is sinking in.

Fittingly, the Visitor and Resource Protection Division bookended my first Proranger summer internship.  Compared to the first week in the park this one was pretty uneventful for law enforcement.  Ranger Greene and I went on some vehicle and foot patrols.  We stopped a few vehicles for some minor infractions, entering a parking lot through the exit and speeding.  Warnings were given out on both occasions.

Wednesday was the second end of the summer youth summit.  It was hosted here at the C&O Canal at Carderock.  The event was pretty relaxed, as you could choose which activities you wanted to do at your leisure.  There was s'more roasting, a drawing station, rock climbing, loaner bikes, an informational station about the upcoming eclipse on the 21st, and as you might have seen in one of my recent posts, yoga.  After picking up my eclipse viewing glasses, eating a few s'mores, getting zen, and a drawing a stranded polar bear, it was time for the contest.  At the first youth summit event the various parks of the National Capital Region were asked to create a poster or video advertisement to go along with the "Your Park, Your Future" campaign.  There were some pretty creative and artistic entries, one Back to the Future themed (greatest trilogy of all time), and one that rick rolled us.  I did not stay to see which winners the judges picked, as it was a long drive back to Williamsport and Ferry Hill, but the good folks at the canal entered in some pretty stunning posters, so I hope they came away with a Mather or two (newly proposed NPS award, like an Oscar).

When I was not on patrol or at the youth summit, I was catching up on the last few items in my task book and saying my goodbyes.  Everyone at the park showed me such kindness and treated me like I was a longtime member of the team.  Much information and wisdom was imparted to me and I am that much more prepared for a career in National Park Service.  I know the agency is a pretty tight knit family, so I hope to see many of the people I met here somewhere on down the line.

And with all that regular business and sappy stuff out of the way, here are a few pictures of some of what its really all about, from my last excursion of the internship.

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia 
Once again I met up with my West Virginia dwelling cousin Leslie, this time in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area.  This was the first National Recreation Area in a National Forest, The Monongahela National Forest, so it is administered by the Forest Service rather than the NPS.

The top of Seneca Rocks

Seneca Rocks is a popular spot for rock climbers.  I think maybe the next leadership camp, especially the SAR and rock climbing portion, should take place out here.

Blackwater Falls, West Virginia
 After the rocks we ventured to the falls, this time in a state park, which were gushing at full force after some heavy rains.

Shoutout to Temple for providing me with this opportunity

I was really psyched because Blackwater Falls looked like rootbeer. 

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