Well mates, what can I say? It’s officially time to call down the final curtain on my experience in Idaho. It’s a strange feeling. I honestly couldn’t summarize my experience in a little blurb or string of sappy adjectives. Because my whole time out here, from April to October has been made up of these little moments (milliseconds really if you look at it in the grand scheme of life) that have made me smile, think, learn or laugh uncontrollably and I could not hope to describe their meaning and significance.
It’s amazing to me how much Idaho has become part of my life—even the little things, like visiting the library or the long daily drive out to the field sites. I came out to Idaho back in April with little idea of what to expect, since this was my first time out west. It was a whole new landscape, set of plant species and environment but I ended up learning so much about working in an agency, fieldwork, plant identification and western history and culture. I never imagined how beautiful my CLM state and neighbors would be, or how many adventures I’d go on!
I think I can speak for all CLM interns when I say we all moved out somewhere foreign and made a new life for ourselves. New routine, new people, new lifestyle. We should all be proud of ourselves for being able to do that…as well as grateful for that opportunity. I feel incredibly lucky to have been an intern on this program and met amazing people and worked in a government agency. I not only had the opportunity to complete different types of monitoring, wetland delineations and rare plant surveys in crews, but also to shadow staff in my field office to experience what their work entails, which provided me with insight on what career path I would be most interested in. I was constantly struck by how kind and open-minded all my co-workers and BLM staff were, welcoming us into their office and sharing advice and their experiences with us interns.
I think the perfect way to say goodbye to Idaho was returning to the beginning of our crew adventures when we camped at the Diamond A. This last week that I worked as an intern, we went back to our Big Cottonwood campsite near Murphy Hot Springs. We marveled at how much it had changed with the seasons passing. We first camped there in spring when the river rolled by so fast and the canyon had not fully greened into summer. We continually visited the area in the summer and as I discussed in a previous post, a lot of memories were forged in this site. But this time the cottonwoods were yellow and the grasses were golden.
The air was crisp, but there was this stillness to it that made one feel like the canyon was holding its breath. And the colors! It was as if someone had taken a paintbrush and painted all the leaves yellow! It was beautiful. While I missed the green leaves and warm summer days, but at the same time, I collected some yellow cottonwood leaves. It seems that everything has its time, but it can’t last forever. The things that truly matter, that mean the most to us, we always take with us and revisit.
And so, with that my dear Idaho, I bid you farewell, knowing that when I direct my myself east on Route 30 to leave Twin Falls behind, there is no doubt in my mind that someday I will return.
So long for now,
Jarbidge Field Office
Bureau of Land Management