I began looking for summer internships in the spring of 2002. High finance, graphic design, nonprofit work… all appealing but typical. I stumbled across an advertisement on Monster.com placed by the USDA Forest Service. They were seeking wilderness patrol people and a docent for the historical and remote Hodge’s Cabin.
I spoke with the Weaverville Ranger District’s Jim Holmes, who is probably one of the most well-adjusted people I have ever met. After a few days of learning about the opportunity and expressing interest, I received and accepted the chance to spend a summer hiking and caring for a piece of history. My best friend Laura also chose to come along.
Over the next several weeks we prepared our supplies and dried pounds of fruit and meat. Then we loaded up the trunk of my Mazda Protege with food and gear and waved my house goodbye for three months.
We spent the next eleven weeks lounging in the cabin, hiking in one of California’s most beautiful wildernesses, and studying for the following school year. I brought my laptop and a solar cell assembly that permitted me to work on my senior comprehensives and hosting business for a few hours each day.
Jim, thank you for this truly once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity. May you and your wilderness always be well.