Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brand new summer - 2011!

Hello! Thanks for checking out my blog! I am beginning my second summer as a seasonal interpretive park ranger at Katmai National Park in southwest Alaska. Currently I am in Brooks Camp in Katmai. Brooks Camp is a small, remote camp on the mile and a half long Brooks River which is between Lake Brooks and Naknek Lake (the fourth largest lake in Alaska). Brooks Camp is where I will live until the end of September. People come to Brooks Camp from all over the world mostly to watch bears but also to fish in the beautiful rivers and streams and to study volcanoes.

Before heading to King Salmon, Alaska for training, I got to visit Ryan and Amber, two friends that I worked with two summers ago at Mount Rushmore. Amber lives in Anchorage, and Ryan will be working at Kenai Fjords National Park. Amber and I were lucky to get to drive Ryan down to his new home, Seward, Alaska! We had a lovely day there. I ate halibut tacos and got to see a sea otter! Those were the highlights.

I then flew to King Salmon and spent about two weeks training. King Salmon is a transient bush town where Katmai National Park headquarters is located. I did two weeks of training there. As an interpretive ranger, I help visitors to the park understand the park's resources such as the bears, salmon, volcanoes, and culture. So training consisted of lots of lectures on birds, geology, plants, safety, salmon, and Bears! I still have two weeks of training to go before June 1, our first day with visitors.

I will be living in a hard-sided cabin this year, and it is super! It is very cozy and rustic, and I love it already. I'm excited to go fishing this summer and be able to clean my fish in my cabin and not worry about a bear swiping its paw through canvas if it feels like it! Our staff had several people return from last summer, but we have a few new folks. All of them are great and I'm sure will bring great experience to Katmai. We're looking forward to a great 2011 summer!

The first picture is of the Naknek River near King Salmon, Alaksa. The Aleutian mountains are in the background (some of them are active volcanoes). The second picture is of me, Ryan, and Amber, my buddies from Mount Rushmore. The third picture is of an old boat in Seward, Alaska. The fourth is of a red fox outside of its den near King Salmon, AK. The fifth picture is the 2011 interpretive rangers at Katmai.