Working with the U.S. Geological Survey
Week 8: May 22-26, 2006
It is over!

On my 8th week with the USGS, I was scheduled to go to Zion for 3-4 days, but the trip was canceled, and Poncho and I spent the week tearing down the greenhouse for the season.

On Thursday, they announced that there would be no field work until the end of June at the earliest and that we would have to do data entry in the office until then. I protested based on specific negotiations when I took the job, but they reneged on our agreements, so I'm done. It is over. It is a good time for me to go.

I'm glad the to have the USGS experience behind me. It has been unpleasant since the first day in the field. Now the future is wide open and I'm looking forward to it.

It is over!

I'm excited about prospects for the summer. Mom is coming to visit for a few weeks in June, so I will be able to spend plenty of time with her. I have wanted to go back to the campground where we stayed last year with enough time to get good photographs of the ground squirrels and chipmunks that live there, but I never had the time. Now I will be able to do it.

It is over! I will also be able to go backpacking with my friend Gary from the Yucca Mountain Project. Before I left the Project, he and I had planned a trip in the Grand Canyon over the July 4th weekend, which I would have missed, but now I can go. We will hike from the South Rim to Phantom Ranch in the very bottom of the canyon. We will camp in Bright Angel Campground, which is near the ranch and close enough to go out for a beer. Liz and Gary's wife will come along and stay in the lodge on the South Rim while Gary and I are down below camping out. Gary and I also made tentative plans to go to Havasupai Falls (also in the Grand Canyon) this summer, and now I'll be able to do that, too (later in July).
It is over! Last winter, I made plans to hike in the local mountains (Mt. Charleston) to find and photograph the rare, endemic plants that grow only near the summit. Surprisingly, there are no photos of these plants on the Internet. The USGS job would have prevented me from getting up there, but now I will be able to spend enough time to find and photograph the plants in flower.
It is over! We are again heading to Yosemite for the annual backpacking trip in late August. This time we are going to hike north from Tuolumne Meadows and camp on a lake for a few days. I wouldn't have missed this hike for anything, but now I will have more time to plan it, get gear together, and relax after it is over.
It is over! In the fall, I'll probably head north to visit mom at her volunteer job at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon, then head farther north to send time with Dad and Joe in Washington and friends in the area.
It is over! I'm also toying with the idea of hiking the entire John Muir Trail this summer (220 miles, about 3 weeks). I hiked all but about 50 miles of it when I was in high school, and I've always wanted to at least do the miles I haven't seen. So many possibilities!
It is over!
Indeed, the future is wide open -- and I'm looking forward to it!
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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