Alright, this is starting to get ridiculous… For the second time this week the neighbors are causing a ruckus. Mountain goats are launching rock avalanches down the mountain towards our tents! An unexpected Wilderness experience for sure!
I’m currently sitting at Dagger Falls Campground, on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The Middle Fork is a Wild & Scenic River and a premier destination for floaters in Idaho. The falls are absolutely stunning, our campground is covered in Mariposa lilies, and the air is filled with the scent of lodgepole pine and subalpine fir.
We began our journey by meeting our first 5 volunteers and 4 Forest Service crew members the night of June 20 at Yellow Jacket Lake Campground where we made introductions over our first dinner together. The next morning we began with our daily yoga stretch after a good breakfast and then made our way 2 miles up the trail to base camp where we would be working for the next four days.
Well it’s already the end of hitch two. Greg, Ben, Taryn, Jake and I started out hiking the Warm Springs Creek Trail on day one. The weather forecast predicted this hitch to be a hot and dry one; it wasn’t wrong in the end. We were sent to cover a lot of miles this hitch and so we split into two separate work forces and then met back up towards the end of the hitch.
It can be too easy sometimes to focus on work and almost forget where you are. Our first project of the hitch was to head up Big Creek. Big Creek Lake is the biggest in the Bitterroots. Our commute to work involved stopping to take our boots off to cross the dam’s spillway on the edge of the lake.
What a week! We have officially completed our intern training based at the beautiful Lochsa Historic Ranger Station, a setting fit for a mountain yoga retreat. We began our training as Wilderness Ranger Interns in Missoula, MT where we participated in a heated discussion about the meanings of the Wilderness Act.