Sunday, October 22

Today was another hike day!

I showed up at the VC. This was the second extra day I was working to take a long weekend this week. The VC was already very adequately staffed - Suzanne, Ann, Theresa, and Victoria were all working. Ann told me I could spend the day continuing to do some of my learning courses online after taking the hiker shuttle up.

A moment later, Suzanne asked if I would be up for doing another task, which involved a hike! We had a big race in our park yesterday, the Boulder Dash, where over 150 runners came and ran either 13K or 30K through the monument. To be honest, I don't know how they do it. The trails are so rugged! Anyway, there were still a lot of pink flags marking the trail that needed to be picked up. I would be hiking the 7.3 trail from Echo Canyon to Heart of Rocks and down to the VC. I had done this before. It's a pretty long hike. 

I went back and changed real quick, and then took the shuttle up myself as a hiker. I got going along the trail. It was nice, lots of solitude, and I got to see a garter snake! As soon as I met up with the Balanced Rock trail, I ran into the Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) doing trail work. They've been here a little while now, I believe their term project is in the park. They had collected all the flags and signs up until that point and gave them to me. I ventured into the Heart of Rocks loop, where Ann had suggested taking pictures we could use for our Instagram account (follow @chiricahua_nps if you haven't yet!). 

By the time I headed back with all the flags, they were getting heavy. It was really wearing me out. Finally, I made it back to the VC and took a long lunch to shower. As I returned, I went back to completing my "History of the NPS" course.

It was a nice evening and I got to talk to 5 loved ones on the phone. I also made more cookies and did laundry.

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