So...I graduated on Saturday (May 23)...drove home on Sunday...packed the car and headed for Glacier on Monday. I drove out with one of our new interns who lives near Syracuse as well so as least I had some company. It was defintley a whirl wind couple of days. We drove from Syracuse, NY to St. Mary Montana in just under three days. This included stops at Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. They have put up a new memorial at Mount Rushmore which is a large granite archway including a column for every state with the state flag hanging from each column. Visitors walk through this as they the come upon the viewing area for Mount Rushmore itself. We watched many visitors taking pictures of this new addition with the presidents faces falling in the center of the structure behind it. I felt that a project this size kind of takes away from the sculpture itself. I was unimpressed. I don't like when people try to make something grander when the original is already enough to make you stare in awe.
On our the third day of our journey I was ready to leave the car and walk the rest of the way just so i could get the feeling back in my legs. However, As I saw the mountains come into view to the west I forgot all about my legs and my heart started pounding with the excitement of being back in St. Mary again. We arrived and quickly picked up our keys and unloaded half of the luggage when I got a call from Jamie asking me if we had made it yet. We left the rest of the baggage in the car and headed up to Sun Point to join the group at St. Mary falls. We met up with Jamie, Mark, and Elizabeth whom I was so happy to see again. I then we introduced to the rest of the St. Mary interp crew. I was imressed with how outgoing all of the new interns are. We are going to have a great season there is no doubt about that.
When entering the visitor center I noticed that we now have a variety of brand new signs. One is on the outside of the building and includes the NPS arrowhead. We have beautiful signs inside the visitor center that help visitors to distingush between the information and backcountry desks as well as a new sign for the Glacier Association book store. As I went upstairs to check my mail I found the letter that informed me that the program that I submitted last year certified. As I read through the comments I began to smile. After only a few suggestions for improvement the statements ended with the words , "Nicely Done!"
The weather has been unusually warm for the past few days on the east side of the park. When I drove up I was expecting 60's and maybe some rain. It has reached the 80's for three days in a row this week, but looking like it might cool off a little bit this weekend. The interns seem to be making a fast adjustment to life in the park and we are still expecting the last member of our crew to arrive later this afternoon. It is definetly a sea of change in St. Mary. Besides Jamie, Sarah, Elizabeth, Adrien and myself I am seeing new faces all around me, not just interp but in Law Enforcement, Entrance Station employees, and Backcountry as well. I look forward to meeting new friends as the summer progresses and also catching up with old ones. Adrien and I have planned our first hiking excersion for tomorrow and should be nothing short of entertaining. I am also looking forward to our potluck tonight which will bring everyone together for a good time. Stay tunned for more updates soon...