Hello everyone! Happy 4th of July to you all!!

Quick question for you all. When should you buy a bird?……………………………………………………When it’s going cheep!! Bahaha

Ok, now that that’s out of the way, lets get on with business! Its been an event packed week, both in and out of work. I am finally getting the hang of planning things in advance……..and it’s, well, much different than flying by the seat of my pants! So after planning for educational outreach and the webinar presentation. We had a well re-drill visit at one of our BLM managed sites on Wednesday. That was pretty interesting. We talked NEPA and discussed cost, benefits, and the future of the project. I like to participate in these meetings because it allows everyone to gain a broader prospective of the project as well as differing priorities of different disciplines and departments. Everyone then writes up their considerations for the project and it is all put together for the final NEPA document to be approved. A whole lot of planning and discussion is required before ANY change is enacted. This ensures a proper and thorough evaluation has taken place to mitigate risk, issues and damage and maximize efficiency and benefit. On Thursday I had to locate, consolidate and inventory everything needed for macroinvertibrate surveys coming up in the next few weeks. This was a looong process because materials and equipment was scattered EVERYWHERE!! That was the work week.

So outside of work, Friday was bill pay and appointment day. My girlfriend and myself both had dentist appointments and she had a doctors appointment on top of that, So Friday was busy. On Saturday I had to send off my research mentor and professor. Myself along with a few other students helped him load up the U-HAUL truck. It was a sad day, however, we all know he is going to be much much happier in his new position. So right after that, we had a camping trip planned for Blue Lake. We gathered our stuff and headed out! It was myself, my girlfriend Erika, our pups Maggie and Zeus and one of our college buddies Russel.We got out there a bit late and it was

 

A stop along the trail….right before I stepped backward and fell…

a 5 mile hike in so we didn’t quite make it all the way before we chose to set up camp.  It was an amazing hike with so much adversity. We crossed countless fallen trees, snow mounds, steep inclines, sleet/rain storm and 3 raging rivers. Due to increased moisture this year, we have had some substancial run-off so these were not just trickling little streams. The first one was by far the worst. We had to take off our shoes, demolish our feet and carry our young dog across the rapids! The second one was a combination of a log balancing act and hop-scotch over rocks, as was the 3rd. Trying to get a fire going was a nightmare because everything was so damp, however we finally got one going.  Russel is quite the character and we had a great time telling stories around the campfire! We woke up early to finish the hike to the crystal clear 12,000 ft lake. This lake sits on the ridge of the Continental Divide and man is the view incredible! We fished, explored, resupplied on water and had lunch before we set off back down the mountain. About half way through we were confronted by a nasty storm. It spit sleet and rain for awhile while we took cover under in the trees. Luckily we were on the outer boundary of the storm and did not get the worst of it. After the coast was clear and the lightning had ceased to illuminate the sky we proceeded down the mountain. Beaten, bruised and bloody we finally made it to the car, however, the trip was not quite over. We popped a tire on the way down and had to put the ol’ donut on to finish the trip down the mountain. We made a REQUIRED stop at Dairy-Queen on the way back and laughed about the struggles.

 

Zeus and Maggs on the car ride home. Best Buds!

Nonetheless, the struggle is what makes it memorable and that’s one trip myself, Erika, Russel and our pups will not soon forget!

“Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head”— William Shakespeare

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