Monday, October 5, 2020

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Hoh Campground
Olympic National Park
Autumn 2020

My time in the Hoh rainforest came to an end. This is a bittersweet moment for me. It has been an amazing summer fun of adventure, nature and self-discovery.

We first arrived in the Hoh with wide eyes. I couldn’t believe we were going to be able to spend an entire summer here. It has been a dream of ours. One that subtly spurred the idea to get an RV in the first place.

We’ve been camping at the Hoh campground for years now, but seeing it through an entire season was a different perspective entirely.

It was already July when we set up our camp. We were supposed to be here in May, but the parks delayed in opening for two months due to COVID-19. We began to wonder if we would be able to come at all. I am so glad we did.

This year has been a roller coaster without safety gear. The summer in the rainforest was shelter from that reality in a lot of ways, but it still came through.

 Covid-19 brought a lot of people to the woods. People were desperate to get away from the city and their houses to explore somewhere new.

We saw many people who were on a long road. Many people were here who had never camped before. As campground host, I was responsible for helping campers get registered and answer questions.

Most of our directions were: “the self-registration board is right in front of the bathroom,” “the trails start at the visitor center, which is down that path, just there,” “yes, the water is potable,” and "the firewood can be found in the shed, just there.”

There were a few cases of disputed campsites. Only one did I have to get a ranger involved when one guy threatened the other. I had a fear that this particular situation may escalate. I wasn’t about to get in between two male egos. They are worse than a charging bull elk. Thankfully, the ranger was able to deescalate the situation and it all worked out in the end.

Otherwise, the summer was mostly talking to people and exploring nature’s beauty.

My one regret for the summer was not writing more of it down. I hope to spend some time recollecting the memories while they are still fresh in my mind. 

I spent the summer in awe of my surroundings, on duty at the campground and in a whirl of self-realization. Being able to disconnect helped me connect with myself. I gained immense amounts of confidence in the woods and a vision for my writing.

This summer in the woods has also sparked a desire to become a park ranger. Working with the rangers has been a pleasure. I would love the opportunity to experience such a career, especially as an interpretation ranger at a visitor center. My next moves involve gaining experience to get hired on by the National Park Service.

In November, I am heading down to New Mexico to volunteer at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument as an interpreter. I am exciting for this opportunity to see a part of the world I’ve never witnessed and to gain experience in a field I believe I want to enter into. 

Over the course of the next month, I will be preparing for that departure, reflecting over my summer in the rainforest and building some foundations on our property in Clallam Bay.

Peace and Love,

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