I received some exciting news today. It’s something I’ve been working on for a couple of months, but now it’s official. Instead of going to Arapaho NWR in Colorado next summer, I’ll be volunteering at Oregon Islands NWR.
In July when I was thinking about next summer, I thought I’d like to return to Oregon. I applied for several positions that appealed to me, but all those gigs were either taken by returning volunteers or decisions wouldn’t be made until next spring. I’m a person that likes planning and dreaming, but I’m not so good at waiting until the last minute.
Then about six weeks ago, I received an email that stated some volunteers had to cancel for next year, and asked if I would be interested in the position at Harris Beach. Oh, YessireeBob! To me, this was the plum location because it was one of the few that had good cell phone reception (which means my air card will work).
That tiny picture is of Goat/Bird Island. It’s the largest island off the Oregon coast that is protected by Oregon Islands NWR. My duties will be to man an observation platform with binoculars, scope, and interpretive materials to help and teach people about the birds and ocean mammals that can be seen.
Tufted puffins, among other species, nest on the island. (All photos tonight are from the web since I’ve never been there before.) I’ll spend twenty hours a week doing this interpretation. If you know me, you can appreciate how this assignment will be right up my alley. Cool Beans! Cool birds! Cool whales! Cool seals! Cool tide pools!
Once a week, I’ll also present an evening campground program on either sea birds or sea mammals. Public speaking has never been a problem for me, and the power point program is provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Should be easy-peasy.
I’ll be provided with a full hook-up site in Harris Beach State Park where both the viewing platform and amphitheater are located. It’s a partnership between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon State Park system. I will be representing the refuge.
And in my time off? I’ll just have to suffer trying to get a fantastic sunset photo like this one. I’m pretty pumped about this new experience, and am really looking forward to it.
Yes, I did notify Arapaho NWR about my change in plans, and they were happy to have such early notice. I felt a twinge of guilt about that, but I’m not sure how well I’d do at 8000’ for three months anyway. So, it seems I’ve traded the mountains for the seashore…
I’m having a few difficulties with water pressure at the moment that are not the fault of the campground. I’m hoping to resolve that before I head for Imperial NWR next week. In the meantime, I’ll be taking a bit of a nostalgic trip tomorrow with Kurt and his wife Jody. It will be a busy day.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy