A Swiftly Moving Summer
These past few weeks seem to be going so fast, and I almost worry I won’t be able to get everything on my bucket list checked off in time. However, here’s what I’ve done seen, pet, and eaten so far J
To start with food, although it is an hour and a half away in Jackson, my absolute favorite food so far has been the Everest Momo shack that has a traditional Nepali and Indian style menu. It’s also family run, and the chef is a pro comedian making the entertainment almost as good as the meal. I also loved Teton Thai in Driggs! I solidly over-estimated my spice tolerance but oh boy was it yummy. My third favorite has to be the delicious gouda mac and cheese my boyfriend and I got from the Wild West Pizzeria in West Yellowstone.
HFF hosted two events recently where we got to know the community better and met some really neat people! The ladies fly fishing day was a smash hit with (I’d estimate) over 50 women showing up to hear presentations, watch demos, and receive casting lessons from female pros in the fly-fishing field. I had never seen that many women with fishing rods in their hand in my life, and it was a pretty incredible experience. The second event was the river clean up, spearheaded by our very own Hailey (a fellow intern)! By stopping and rooting through the riparian growth to find garbage whenever we spotted something out of place, we were able to collect a whole pile of trash as we floated the river. It was not only an awesome day on the water with friends, but a great way to give back to the ecosystem of the Henrys Fork watershed we are getting to know and love.
I also have been spending my time in the office, compiling information form old newsletters, rooting through the old digital storage systems, and even internet stalking past interns to collect information for the database that’s a part of my independent project. Today I completed my first interview and I’ve loved hearing about the experiences of previous interns, especially knowing that all the information I am collecting is going directly to support program enhancement and success for future HFF interns. For that reason, hearing stories of every anecdotal mishap or challenge of old interns is just as exciting as seeing their smile as they explain how the organization has changed. All the information collected from the interns means that there is room and direction for growth and progresses to make these summers are as rewarding and growth filled as possible.
I got to go climbing twice with my mentor, Kam, since being here! My first time on a wall outside since I left school was at this beautiful climbing spot where we got to watch the sunset rays hit the wall opposing us. It was striking and would have been peaceful if it weren’t for the all-star addition of her puppy, Herold, who stole the show. A week later she took me to her climbing gym… and guess which super special friend came along! It was indeed Mr. Herold, and as you could guess he made a whole lot of friends. It was so cool to be surrounded by a community of ‘crunchy’ folx because as I get closer to graduating and especially after loving the Jackson and Bozeman areas out here, I’ve been curious as to how to meet likeminded people. So, seeing that there are spaces for my kinda people in Rexburg, made me feel like life after graduation will be a lot less intimidating than I have been imaging!
I also got to spend a weekend in Bozeman to meet and catch up with friends that I knew from middle school! We hiked, did a version of camping because the site we had driven to was full, and best of all I got to spend the whole weekend with a gaggle of dogs. Two of the pups came with us when we hiked Storm Castle and were more excited for the grueling switch backs than I think I will ever be. It was fantastic puppy therapy and on the last day I was there we went fishing in a tucked away reservoir up in Gallatin range where I had time to hammock before catching a bit of Shotgun Sunday’s live music in Island Park on my way back to good old Ashton.
Over our time off on the fourth we all drove into Jackson for the day before I picked up my boyfriend who flew in Friday evening. We visited galleries, got dinner and enjoyed the sunset before heading over the pass and staying the night in Driggs. The next morning, we drove back to Ashton, got the world-famous hotdogs and visited Mesa Falls, planning our big day in Yellowstone. Once we packed up, we drove up to the west entrance, stopping for lunch where we met some locals and made a few friends before spending the rest of the day doing the southern loop. Even with a whole day in the park we didn’t even get to half of the trails we had saved on Alltrails; however, we did see bison, wolves, elk and pronged horn deer as well as many waterfalls and thermal pools along the way. We stopped at Old Faithful to refill on water, got ice cream and saw it erupt before heading to the fairy falls trail as the sun set. The next day we stopped for a picnic lunch in the park before heading back to Jackson where he flew out the next morning, but not before we watched the fireworks in Jackson and enjoyed a nice day relaxing and recovering in the city parks.