A little less than a year ago, I went on a run.
…I turned around and had to stop to take in the incredible vista that was laid out before me. Instead of the Sierras I saw the sun setting over the white mountains, bathing the boulders littered all over the landscape in a soft golden hue. With my heart pounding and my adrenaline racing I thought to myself this very, very cheesy thought – ” this is it”. I need to be in places like this. And I need to protect places like this. I want to understand places like this; I want to understand the science of the ecosystems that are its foundation, but I also want to be able to interact in them, through running, climbing and hiking so I can tap into the mysterious aspects of these that make me feel good, essentially. And hey- guess what- that’s what I’m doing! I’m studying conservation biology, I am climbing, I am running and I am tapping into the mental game… etc. I ran down the hill grinning from ear to ear.
I wrote that in my blog post Owen’s River Gorge that I published on April 2, 2014.
I am happy to say that less than a year later what I imagined actually came true-pretty literally. In the beginning of November I moved full-time to Bishop, CA after spending the summer traveling and climbing around the Sierra Nevada and in Eastern Europe. What brought me to Bishop was not the spectacular climbing or easy access to a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities (you can basically do everything here except go surfing), but an Americorps position focused on protecting the public lands here in the Eastern Sierra and making stewards out of users. I have been performing a variety of tasks focusing on watershed restoration but also touching on volunteer engagement and outreach. However, I won’t lie; living in Bishop was definitely a big factor in my decision to accept the position. The perks of living on the East Side have indeed been pretty sweet…
P.S.- warning, this is a loooong post. Read More