Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Trip to Seward

I got back this evening from spending the night in Seward with my boss, Kelly, and her family. It was a blast!

Yesterday I got a behind the scenes tour of the Sea Life Center and volunteered for a few hours in the rehabilitation department. They had four baby Harbor Seals and a new member arrived just before I had to leave.

 I was given the pleasure of getting to restrain one of the seals so that it could be fed. They are fed with a tube that goes straight into their stomachs and this is done four times a day. They are very vocal while all of this is going on and sound like toddlers throwing a fit.

 The Center also had an orphaned merganser duckling that I got to see get fed and weighed as well. It was a great experience that I consider myself fortunate to have been able to do.

We all went to the only movie theater in Seward last night and saw a film on wild cats. They only play one main movie a night since they only have one room with a screen. It was very old school, with a curtain that covered the screen until the movie was ready to play and old rickety chairs. I loved it! If you have ever seen the series "Northern Exposure" it reminded me of something that would be on one of their sets.

We spent the night in the camper right by the coast and watched the sea lions play in the bay as it drizzled rain. Mike shared some of his stories with us on how he started the Wildlife Center and some other cool things until laet into the night.

We rose early, stopped by a bakery and headed to Millers Landing to go sea kayaking. I had never been kayaking on the ocean before so it was kind of a new experience for me. We suited up in our spray skirts and rain gear, got a quick lesson in how to use the kayaks and we were off. We had tandems, which means they have two cockpits and I wanted to be in the back so that I could learn how to use the rudder. The rudder is controlled by the foot pedals inside of the kayak. It took a while to get used to but I got used to it after a while. We saw Sea Otters, Sea Lions, Harlequin Ducks, a Harbor Seal, and a few Dall Porpoises. The ocean   was very calm and the low lying clouds and light mist made for a relaxing morning.

After a long morning of kayaking we grabbed some Subway and hiked to the Exit Glacier.

 It was gorgeous! As I stood st the glacier and looked at the mountains surrounding me I thought about how bored I was going to be once I do get back home in Ohio. Every place has it's pretty spots but, in Alaska there are too many to distinguish which was better than the last. I also wished that my dad could have been there with me today. He would have loved to have seen the glacier and the wilderness that surrounded it. It is because of my dad and him sharing his love of the outdoors with me at a young age that I am where I am at today. I cannot wait to share my adventures with him and the rest of my family when I get home.

Me and Dad

Monday, May 30, 2011

No internet + sickness = no blog posts.

Well, it has been a little while since I last wrote. We didn't have internet for a few days and I am just now getting over an illness.

I do not know how I got sick or exactly what it was. It hit me like a brick wall. After throwing up all night and having intense stomach aches, my fellow intern Vanessa convinced me to go to the doctor. A shot, and over 22 hrs of sleep later, I am feeling much better! Still kind of weak though. Many thanks to Vanessa for staying up with me and driving me to Anchorage :)

Anyways, back to what is going on at the center. We got a moose calf a few days ago. He is as cute as a button! He is doing very well, and has to be fed many times a day. We have all been taking turns.

The Center has been steadily getting busier and busier. I love talking to all of our visitors, I have met a lot of interesting people working here. The Mosquito population is also at an all time high. They are horrible!! I am covered head to toe in bites. I can look out of the kitchen window and see them hanging on the screen. The only thing that seems to keep them at bay is wind. Other than that not even repellent helps that much.

Since I last wrote I have been on a hike at Johnson's Pass and a tour of the Portage Glacier. They were both really fun. Other than that it has pretty much been the same ol' routine. I have been doing a lot more bus tours they are pretty fun. I like getting to talk on a microphone, makes me feel kinda important.

Johnson's Pass

Portage Glacier Tour

Kelly took all of us with her Hooligan fishing the other night. We were not allowed to fish because only resident of Alaska are allowed to. It was still cool to go and see a tradition that is passed down from generation to generation. Adonis, our eagle, will be very thankful that we went as this is one of his favorite meals.
Hooligan Fishing 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rambling Night

Yesterdays Hike Pics
(Near Earth Quake Park)
View of Anchorage from the trail

Me and Marcie doing a fight scene

The plane! The plane!

Mud flats
The past few days I have gotten to hang out with some of my buds from the center. We have gone hiking, bike riding, and even watched Star Wars in the barn tonight. I have also had time to talk with a few of my friends on the phone. 

The big news in my life right now is I received a letter from ODNR stating that I met the requirements to take the entrance exam for the wildlife officer position. I was ecstatic on the phone when my mom called and read it to me. However, after giving the idea much thought I have sorta come to the conclusion that my heart is not fully dedicated to the position. I have been very torn on this matter all day. I went for a hike and called my "go to person."  I know that I would like the job and do it well but I just do not think that I am ready to settle down with a job of this grandeur. I would feel horrible to keep going through the steps and take away the chance for someone who full-heartedly wants the job. I do not want to get tied down and stuck in Ohio. How many people would leave a full time, good paying job with benefits to go travel and work internships with crappy pay? After coming up here to Alaska I have realized that I have so much that I want to see and I do not want to regret not doing so. I think I applied to prove to myself that I could do it, it is an honorable position and something that I wanted to see if I had what it took to make the cut. I have to remind myself that I have nothing to prove, I can do anything that I set my mind to. And maybe after I have had my fill of traveling I will apply for the next academy.  So, I need to write an email today and try to explain why I am declining to take the test. ughhhhh!! 

On another note I will be back home in Ohio in about twelve days! I cannot wait to get back home and see family and friends. I am very excited to be a part of Earth Camp this year too! I used to volunteer with the Fairfield and Hocking County Soil and Water Departments before I started college and I will actually be able to help at camp again this year. It is a day camp for first- fourth graders ( I think) that teaches them about the importance of nature. I just can't get enough of the kiddos! ha ha ha

I will be working back at Hocking Hills this summer too. I will be so glad to be back with my park family plus I will be able to shoot every night on the range if I want to :) Or hike! 

Hopefully I will be headed out to Idaho late this summer. I am sooo excited about going. I want to see what the campus has to offer and what the area is like. Who knows, I may go out and then just move out there.

I wrote quite a bit in this blog. Sorry if it was boring I guess I just had a lot on my mind and had to get it out. If you have any life advice lat me know cause I am open to suggestions. lol

Todays Hike
(Johnson's Pass)


Gorgeous view

Where we stopped to eat lunch

The trail

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Day Before The End of The World.

As most of you know tomorrow is thought by some to be the end of the world. I personally do not believe in such a thought. It says in the bible that the end cannot be predicted anyway. But for those of you who decided to read my blog on the eve before the end of everything as we know it, here is how I spent the past few days. :) Yesterday five of us girls headed to Anchorage after a slow, rainy day of work to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It was a midnight showing and it was daylight when we drove in and the sun was coming up at 3:30 in the morning when we got home. I have gotten used to it though. The movie was really good, I love Johnny Depp!!

View of a rainbow from the gift shop today

Julie staying out of the weather in her shed.

Today more rain and slightly windy. It feels so good to have my shower and be sitting dry and warm in my bunk. I kept busy by talking to a lot of the visitors at the center. That is one thing that I love about this job is all of the people you meet from all over the world. I talked to people from Australia and Holland today. I stayed at the bear enclosure and tossed a hot dog or two every now and then to keep the bears out front for everyone to see. It was really cool when the train went by today and blew it's whistle. Wylie, the coyote that lives in the brown bear enclosure, started howling and yelping.


I got a bunch of letters a few days ago from a class that I did a tour for here at the center. It made my day! I have really enjoyed working with the kids and I miss going into Anchorage and doing programs. Kids are our future and I believe that it is very important to make sure that they are educated about nature and how to become good stewards of the outdoors. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to reach out to so many kids, I hope I have made a small difference.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day off in Anchorage

Today me, Erin, and Jeremy went to Anchorage. We went dress shopping for Erin and helped Jeremy pick out a snazzy tux. They are going to a movie premiere in LA! I tried on a few fancy dresses too just because I never really have before and it was a lot of fun. I had to take a picture just to prove that I actually did it.

Other than that, it wasn't too big of an adventure. I took this picture of Wylie the other day. He doesn't come up very close to often so I got a pretty good picture of him.

Well, it has been a good few days off. Back to "work" tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gull Rock Trail

So today was me and Erin's day off. We baby sat for our boss Kelly for a few hours, took care of the animals, and then us and some other fellow bunkhouse buddies took off for Homer to hike the Gull Rock trail. It was a beautiful trail! We walked in the woods most of the time but you had a view of the Turnagin Arm the entire way. It was about ten miles round trip. My legs were starting to stiffen up at the end but it was totally worth it. Here are some pictures that I took. Tomorrow we are heading to Anchorage. Not doing anything to exciting. I will be getting groceries that is for sure. 


Squirrel !!!! Soo cute

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Pod May ham!


Ok, so I finally decided to be like all the cool kids and get an I Pod. Let me start by saying technology hates me. It doesn't matter what it is. I just recently got my first lap top and now an I pod. I love it and hate it at the same time. I think that the problem is that I know nothing about technology or how any of this stuff works. I would rather spend my free time outside than sitting at a computer all day! But there comes a point where I guess it is good to at least know the basics so you can keep up everyone else. Oh well I guess I will figure it all out. If it wasn't for Marcie's help though I probably would have thrown it earlier. And Mike Thomas or MT  set me up with alot of sweet tunes. Thanks Guys!! Anyways, me and Erin had yesterday off. We went with Jeremy to A-Town ( Anchorage) and saw "Water for Elephants". Awesome movie! We did a lil shopping while we were there as well.

The view coming home
Today we had a school group of 75 kids come to the center and me and Erin gave them a tour and did a presentation with Snickers in the barn. We had a Wood Bison calve today and we got to see some of it happen. Very cool. Other than that nothing out of the ordinary happened today. Me and Erin had to help/ we did most of the un-loading of a donation of frozen hams and lobsters for the bears. We filled about five and a half freezers full. It was a load of fun.

Me and Muck Luck

The Chickies