When I first told people I accepted a job in Shoshone, ID I received a lot of interesting comments. From, “isn’t the whole state just potatoes,” to “are there even people there?” For this post I have decided to compile reasons why Idaho is more than potatoes, and why it has grown on me.
I have found Idaho to be an excellent home base for exploring the west. I have had the opportunity to visit Crater Lake, the Wallawas, the Avenue of the Giants, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Craters of the Moon, and Glacier National Park. I feel that it is fitting that I have been able to visit so many of our National Parks during the park service’s centennial year. I am also excited that I got to see one of Glacier National Park’s 25 remaining glaciers, which are predicted to disappear as early as 2030! Something else I have enjoyed doing is comparing the photos I have taken at these places to pictures from 1961 that a past professor has been sending to me as I visit them. As you can see below, not much has changed at crater lake in 45 years except the photo quality.
Grinnell Glacier today
Grinnell Glacier in 1961
Wizard Island in Crater Lake today
Wizard Island in Crater Lake in 1961
Phantom Ship in Crater Lake today
Phantom ship in Crater Lake in 1961
The gem state also has a lot of “small hidden gems” that don’t exactly fit into the precious stone category. My fellow CLM interns and I have stumbled upon a hand carved Tibetan prayer wheel blessed by the Dali Lama (one of two in North America), the widest main street in the nation (right here in Shoshone!), the jump site for when Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River in 1974, the Perrine bridge that people commonly base jump from, Shoshone falls (which is 45 ft taller than Niagara falls!), the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America (Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park), Hells canyon which is the deepest gorge in America, the first city in the world to be powered solely by nuclear power (Arco), and the site of the first nuclear power plant and nuclear meltdown in the world (Atomic city).
Another benefit of working in the Shoshone field office is that the staff is amazing. There is never a shortage of garden fresh veggies or fruit for us to take home, they are extremely helpful with career advice, looking out for new opportunities for us, and can always be counted on to give great recommendations for weekend recreation. From the beginning they have all made us feel welcome. Both my mentor, Danelle, and the other CLMs’ mentor, Joanna, deserve a special shout-out. They have gone out of their way to make sure that we get the most out of our internships, which I feel like is a challenge since there are 5 CLM interns in the office. Even though I was hired for Seeds of Success, the list of projects I have participated in takes up almost an entire page, and I expect it to continue to grow until I leave in November. We recently received the excess from our collections back from Bend. The amount that we got back shocked me, since it feels impossible to gather over 10,000 seed when you are actually collecting. However, turns out that we well surpassed that limit on 6 of our collections, and still have one more to send in!
The excess seed from our collections. It is so satisfying to see how much we got back!
Perideridia gairdneri collection
There is never a dull moment here. As I was finishing this post the woman who works the front desk came into our cubicles, and told us a bull snake was in the hallway by the break room. Marissa, one of my fellow CLM interns, sprinted down the hall to wrangle the snake. Being the team player that she is she, in her own words, “threw her body in the way to protect everyone in the office,” and as you can see he was truly terrifying.
Marissa after capturing the snake
Our Thursday afternoon visitor