August was a packed month that brought a lot of new experiences in and out of the field. My partner and I have continued to monitor where cattle are grazing and check on the health of their favorite “ice cream feed” spots, the coveted riparian areas that dot the allotments. Doing these compliance checks has allowed me to gain more experience in using the GPS, try out different monitoring techniques and get out in some of the most remote areas of the field office to see some incredible views and creatures. Recently, while solo surveying a riparian area, I came across a group of about 150 wild horses and was able to admire them from a few hundred yards away while they snorted at me and slowly trickled out of the draw we were in.
At the beginning of August, a friend came up from Colorado and we went on a spectacular backpacking trip to the Cirque of Towers in the Wind River Mountain Range. We quickly learned that most people took four or five days to do the route we were completing in three, but it was a great challenge and we came home sore but refreshed. A couple weeks later I went home for a weekend and it was so fun to see friends, family, and of course my dogs!
Since I didn’t start the internship until early June I still have about a month and a half to go and have just recently started the arduous task of applying to jobs all over the country. There is still plenty of field work to be done and the weather just recently changed from being in the high 80s or low 90s to all of the sudden being in the 40s when we wake up (not even mad about it). I am excited to get our first snowfall and see how our work may change as the weather gets a little less predictable. The cows have about a month before they are rounded up for the winter, a task that still blows my mind after seeing how spread out and surprisingly adept at hiding they are. In the mean time, I will be switching from iced to hot coffee and busting out the wool socks.