Finally, after a few long breaks over the last few years, I have reached my 400th View on this blog which I started ten years ago. Like my 300th View, I find myself in a U.S. National Park. This time it is Olympic National Park which has a lot of meaning for me as well as history.
Back in September of 1981, I arrived in Port Angeles, Washington to begin a three month internship with the National Park Service at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. I had graduated a few months earlier from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a degree in Forest and Wildlife Biology and was looking to put my degree to good use. During the internship I helped visitors plan their time in the park, create educational programs for local schools and groups and handled inquiries for information from park brochures to checking out photo slides (remember those?) for educational and scientific studies.
Being an intern, I also was given some jobs like varnishing fifty pairs of snow shoes, driving up to Hurricane Ridge to handle visitors inquires and even make hot chocolate when snow season hit in mid-October for cross-country skiers and snow shoers. I learned how to cross-country ski when I put on the skis for the first time and trucked up four miles to the top of Hurricane Ridge. That was easy, the fun part was coming down. I found just falling down when I got going too fast was the safest way to get back to parking lot.
I have very fond memories of my time there and I kept promising my wife I would take her to Olympic National Park to share all the beauty I had experienced there.
Well, it took almost 37 years…
Promise made, promise kept.