Just What I Needed

Where did it all go? I spent much of my summer debating whether the backcountry season was flying by or simply crawling at a snail’s pace. At times, it seemed that day four would never pass, and I was quite certain that day eight was never going to arrive.

But four hitches, gallons of sweat, pounds of muscle, and a few drops of blood later, I am once again a full-time resident of Missoula and spending my final days of summer floating lazily down the Blackfoot. The verdict is in: My time playing as a wilderness ranger came and went faster than I ever thought possible.

I am older than other interns by several years, and I accepted the opportunity at SBFC with some reservations because I worried I would be taking a step backward. What initially sold me on the program was the opportunity to work with a nonprofit and to explore a new stretch of mountains. I did not realize how deeply personal my experience with SBFC would be, nor do I think those who shared their time with me will ever realize their impact on me.

Over the course of my summer, the value of my greater life experience was confirmed for me through the perspectives of my coworkers. I came to view the opportunities awaiting me in life as limitless, just as I did when I was a mighty 21-year old. Once again, I realize that I will never regret any choice I have made in my life – I am constantly morphing into that person I so badly wanted to be 27 years ago, and every one of my decisions thus far in life has contributed to that satisfaction. By approaching my opportunity at SBFC with an open mind, I am walking away with more valuable life experience than I ever thought possible.

In that new stretch of mountains, I found just what I needed.

     — Allie Tincher, Wilderness Ranger Intern | August 14, 2012


With fellow intern Harper Kaufman on Fish Lake Saddle during our first hitch.