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"It is the journey which makes up your life."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Montana!!

Got to the station yesterday. I had a great time in Steamboat. Met a bunch of Casey's friends in the big lively house of his. Janna came up from Fort Colins too. She brought her awesome new boyfriend and we all went hiking while Casey was at work. The boy is doing really well for himself. He has a job he likes and a house full of awesome people and he's going to school to become a nurse. I'm so happy to see that.

From Steamboat, the drive up was hellishly long, especially the middle of Wyoming.. just this great flat desolate basin. Once I got to the west, though, I drove past the Wind River range and the Grand Tetons. They're incredible. The kind of mountains that make you want to pee your pants and get out of the car and start running to get into them. I took my time through them for exhilarated ogling.. then got to Yellowstone exhausted from so long driving and too late in the day to get a campsite. Sucked it up and just whizzed through the whole park. It's a shame, but I needed somewhere to sleep, and just parking somewhere in the park was illegal. I would have done it anyway if there weren't so many rangers in cop cars patrolling around. They had sirens and everything. Bastards. Policing around bothering people instead of taking care of the land. I guess there are a lot of dumb tourists. But still.. cop cars? I suppose it's the government's fault, not theirs.

So, anyway, I slept in a campsite just outside Yellowstone and then came up here. It is pretty. It's greener and smaller and closer to civilization than I had expected. I guess I will have to go climb to get up to the real mountain country. This is more of a long, low valley. The station is all on a peninsula in the lake (which is huge and beautiful and very cold). I have a little 15-foot cabin to share with a nice girl named Jenny from South Carolina. There are thirty-some students here total between the research projects and the classes. They seem like cool kids.

Everyone is pretty friendly. I'm not sure how to describe the vibe. I'm definitely one of the only ones from the west coast, but it's a little more relaxed and less pretentious than the east coast feeling like I had with the students in Costa Rica. Not that that was bad - just different. Does that make it midwest? I dunno. Looks like I will be doing a research project on diatoms.. putting together an index of biotic integrity for the north fork of the flathead river. Apparently the Canadians have permitted a coal mine upstream, so there is a big project trying to figure out what the chemicals and sedimentation is going to do to the river. It seems pretty exciting. I will be spending lots of time looking at little blobs with a microscope. Woot.

3 Comments:

Blogger Janna said...

w00t diatoms!

Hey Jess, you should e-mail me those Steamboat pictures. My e-mail's horsecrazyinCA@yahoo.com .

4:58 PM

 
Blogger Ryan said...

Now there's an e-mail address from middle school if I ever saw one.

12:02 AM

 
Blogger Kat said...

I think they might have cop cars and be bothersome because of all that illegal drug cultivating that goes on in the backcountry there, yeah?

Yeah, and dumb tourists. I think my passionate hatred of dumb tourists has grown exponentially since Cairo.

4:06 PM

 

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