Tuesday, October 3

A lot of notable personal progress was made today! I started the day setting up the VC, turning on computers, updating weather, and other things. I drove the hiking shuttle again today! On the way back down, Andy and I scoped out the campground to remove expired reserved tags and take some notes. Our campground host is currently on break.

We made it back to the VC, and Claire came in. Reminder that Claire is the geology intern with Americorps who works primarily at Coronado. She's very outgoing and friendly, and wanted to come say hi. Suzanne said that we could go ahead and go with her to do her scientific data checking and such. We drove out to around the entrance station and stopped in a building with a ton of different instruments surrounding it. It took her around an hour and a half to complete all the necessary tests and gatherings. She was checking for air quality, rain quantity, ozone measurements, particulate matter, and all kinds of other scientific stuff. It was fun just getting to hang out with her and Andy and chat about a variety of things.

We returned to the VC and Suzanne was giving children the Junior Ranger booklets. She recommended that Andy and I fill one out ourselves, just so we knew the ins and outs of the program. I completed my Junior Ranger booklet, after a challenging Chiricahua bird crossword puzzle. Two birds I was unable to guess were the elegant trogon and some kind of quail. The children returned while Suzanne was out on her lunch break, so Andy checked their booklets and I got to officially sign their certificates and award them with their badges. THIS WAS SO COOL! I remember being so passionate about the Junior Ranger program when I was younger. It was still fun to complete even now!

Three other notable things happened today. First, I got experience explaining the hiking trails and options to visitors. Two times today, visitors came in with general questions like "what is there to do here?" or "we are looking for a nice, easy hike" and Suzanne turned it over to me to brief them. I did well! It's really fun explaining all the different options to people, them looking at you as you give them knowledge, and being able to answer their questions.

Second, I learned was how to make campground reservations. Again, someone came in while Suzanne was out to lunch so I remembered how she handled that situation and was able to reserve a man his site. She looked it over and I had done everything correctly.

Third, Suzanne took me out to finish my park tour. We had made it around about 80% of the park, but there was still some left to see! We got in the van and she took me up to the other residences on CCC Loop, where she and other permanent employees live. She pointed out the law enforcement office building, which is basically just a house turned into an office. There is a small gym there that I can access if I want to work out. We got to see the maintenance and storage buildings as well. She drove me to Faraway Ranch, where they have guided tours, which I will try to attend this weekend. I saw Bonita Creek picnic area, and the Erickson Cemetary, where the ranch owners rest. We continued to have a lot of great chats while driving around the park. 

I ended the day, went back to the house, and talked briefly with the two women staying in my housing. I talked about my dog, Harmony. It was nice. I also made a list of how often I need to clean certain things, etc. I still don't have my SCA uniform yet, but Libby gave me some nice Southeast Arizona Group NPS polo shirts to wear in the meantime. 

Suzanne told me tomorrow would be another hiking day for me. I plan to do the Heart of Rocks trail to see some of the main named rock features in the park. It'll be nice having a radio with me.

It's October 3rd.

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