17 February 2014

much environment, wow

I've had such a long day, I feel like I'm thinking in Doge. I can't think in complete sentences at all, but I'm just about done with my work for tonight, which means I can go to bed soon, which is great.

Despite how tired I am, it was a good day filled with a lot of environment-related things! It started with a field trip to the Columbia Slough. Half my environmental studies class met there around 9:30, just as it started raining. We sat under a gazebo and learned about the history of the slough, which we were supposed to learn last week but didn't because of the snow days. It was really interesting- it divides an industrial area from a residential area. The slough used to be a floodplain and be faster flowing, and the industries would dump all their waste into it and it would magically float off down the slough and disappear. Now, there are levees up to keep the Columbia River from flooding the area, which is important because things like the airport are there. Because of this the slough is much slower-flowing since it doesn't flood anymore. There are also stricter regulations, so the industries aren't dumping nearly as much stuff into the slough. However, it's still really dirty- it's actually a Superfund Site.

After we learned all this, we got into canoes and paddled around the slough for a while. This did my heart good, because I'm really into canoeing at home and go every summer (I actually attended a camp for a few years where I did trips, the longest being three weeks). I was even complimented on my paddling skills, which made me happy. The canoeing was also kind of sad, though, in part because the water was really dirty (you could see oil on top of it and trash floating all over), and in part because it started hailing while we were on the water.

Can you see the hail?
I think my happiness from being in a canoe outweighed my happiness of being hailed on and being cold and wet and saddened by the pollution, which really says something about how much I like canoes.

After we got off the water, we ate lunch and came back to campus. I had to rush to get over to Tryon, the state park by campus. I'm starting to volunteer there, and I had a training today to become a nature center host. The position is a lot more intense than I originally expected, including duties like answering phones and answering people's questions about the park, and selling items in the nature center. I learned a lot during the training and am eager to start doing it regularly.

I then rushed back to campus to work on an econ assignment with a classmate, before rushing over to south campus (the graduate school) for a workshop for College Outdoors. The workshops focused on cultural competency, and was informative and well taught. Then I ate pizza and came back to my room, where I've been doing homework (including submitting a session proposal for ENVS Symposium) until now.

So, a day filled with various environment-related activities. On top of that, I went for a hike on Saturday at Silver Falls State Park, which is kind of near Salem.
One of the falls

We got to walk behind some waterfalls, which was an awesome experience
There were theoretically 10 falls on the trail, but we saw way more

Walking behind one of the falls

It was so pretty, and a great day. My friend Gaby and I got up kind of early and drove down to the park. It was rainy, but that just meant there were fewer people out. We went for a 9ish mile hike on the trail of 10 falls, which had way more than 10 falls because of all the snow melt, and the rain. We rented a zipcar, which is this cool system where students can rent cars for a relatively cheap price. Since we had it all evening, we drove up to NE Alberta St on our way back. It's a fun street in NE Portland, and we ate at a restaurant that bases its meals in biscuits and other southern-esque foods. We also got ice cream at Salt & Straw, which is kind of famous for its ice cream.

Once we got back, I had a ukulele orchestra performance in Once Upon a Weekend (the article is kind of old but it gives you the gist of what the event is). It was great! We're down to four people now (hopefully others will rejoin once their schedules open up a bit), but we got a lot of complements on our performance. The plays were all excellent, and it was a good night.

My schedule should lighten up some as the week goes on. Hopefully, at least. We'll see!

If you have any questions, please email me at rekidder@lclark.edu. I will respond!