For those of you who have not seen “The Shining,” just trust me when I say I do not want to turn into that guy who had all work and no play! So I thought the best way to end this spectacular summer and incredible opportunity to work for Yellowstone National Park (YNP) would be by telling you, and showing you, the beauty and adventure that sat on my doorstep (well my camper doesn’t actually have a doorstep, but you get what I mean). Yes, that tiny camper I am leaning up against is called Lil Teton, and I lived in it for my nine-week internship. Crazy I know, but what an experience. Working here at the Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Montana granted me access to the wonders and beauty of YNP. With an abundant amount of trails, scenic stops, and Wilcoxson’s ice cream, there was never a dull moment and always a place to fix my sweet tooth. I hiked to waterfalls, mountain biked the backcountry, and spent a lazy day floating the Yellowstone River north of Gardiner. I made friends with Bison, watched sunsets over the peaks, and compared Montana craft brew to our famed brewery scene in Colorado. Montana is beautiful. Yellowstone is magnificent. It is a memory I will never forget.
If you are a student like myself and looking for an internship in the future I have one suggestion for you, don’t just go to work, live life. Yes, of course, understand your duties and perform to the best of your ability, but on your down time seek adventure, go play, and get lost (not literally). Your experience will be much more enjoyable and rewarding than being the dull person who is all work and no play. Now that my internship is over and it is time to go home, I must load up Lil Teton and make the grueling drive back to Fort Collins. But wait, the wind is echoing something, what is it saying? It sounds like the famous words spoken by John Muir, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”
For more information on amazing projects being performed by the Public Lands History Center of Colorado State University, please check out our website at: http://publiclands.colostate.edu/