- January 03, 2019
- Posted by Clint
I am sitting at a table at the Moose Creek Ranger Station. It is about 25 miles from the nearest road and right in the middle of the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness. The ranger station is fine. It sure doesn’t feel like wilderness, but good people gather here to care for the wilderness. My time here doesn’t seem representative of my summer though; this has just been a place to make my coffee hotter. My summer has been dictated by the schedule that I keep on hitch.
Every morning I wake at 5:30. By 5:45, my sleeping bag is packed, my pants are on, and I am breaking down my tent. I wear my puffy-coat against the morning cold. At 6:00, I am drinking coffee and eating peanut butter by the spoonful. At 6:30 I am trekking through trees, brush, or over hilltops with a shovel for my morning cat hole. At 6:45 I am finished packing my pack and I help with camp break-down and naturalization.
At 7:00 we stretch.
7:20 - safety circle.
7:30 - gather tools, line out the day.
7:45 - hiking, cutting, digging, and brushing.
8:30 - morning check-in over the radio.
10:30 - morning break and snacks.
12:00 - lunch.
2:30 - afternoon break.
3:30 - afternoon check-in.
4:30 - afternoon stretch, set up tents, bear hang, stove, dinner.
5:30 - dishes and paperwork and plan the next day with Britt. After, sometimes, I read.
Sometimes, I chat. And by 8:00, I’m asleep again.
That schedule would get me down if every day wasn’t changing with the trail and the seasons and the weather and the wildlife. But, it has been. So, the schedule is a good one. The summer is a good one. The people are good. The work is fun and fulfilling. All here is good. I look forward to the next season. Already, days get short. The storms are coming. The heat is at its breaking point. It will cool into fall soon. And the schedule will not change.
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