Back to the Grind

19 April 2012 in Memories, Traveling


Glen Canyon National Recreation AreaLast summer I quit my web design job, sold most of my possessions and moved away from everything that I knew and loved to come out west and volunteer for the National Park and US Forest Service. With the experience that I accumulated over the past several months, I landed a job as a Fee Ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona. So far I am really happy getting back into customer service and I really like my job. I love the interaction I get with customers and I enjoy making them smile. I feel good knowing that I have helped them with what they needed so they can enjoy their visit in the area.

Up Up and Away!I started my new job last week Monday and its already been exciting. Since last Monday I have learned and seen so much! Preparing for my first day was like the getting ready for the first day of school all over again. I made sure that I had my bag packed with all of my papers, my outfit set out and my lunch was made and ready to go. I even tried to go to bed early but I was so nervous about the first day that I slept like shit and woke up every hour on the hour. I just kept thinking about meeting my new co-workers and the idea of getting lost on my way to work and the idea of “what if people don’t like me” or “will they think that I’m weird”. All this silly stuff. Then I was worried about “what if I mess up on my math”? I am dealing with money again and its been a little while since I’ve worked on a register. I guess you can say that I am a worrier. You can call me “Whiskers”.

My first day was like any other first day of work or school. You meet everybody, get the things you need to get you set up, go over the major items on the itinerary, eat lunch and then go home early or whatever. The day mostly went that way until I got a big ol’ surprise. Without asking if I was afraid to fly or if I was claustrophobic, I found out that I was flying out the next morning up lake in a tiny ass 6 passenger plane. What?! First of all, I don’t mind flying but I have never been in a plane smaller than one with two rows on one side and two rows on the other and I have only seen tiny planes at small airports or in movies. Now I had to prepare myself to be in one. Oh good Lord. By mid-afternoon I found myself at the hanger but instead of seeing the plane that I would face my fear in, we got a tour of the communications office which is in the same building. It was amazing to hear how the communications worked but I had “small ass plane” on the mind. Afterwards I finished up my day job-shadowing a fellow co-worker. She was very knowledgable and by the end of the day I wasn’t sure if I could learn anymore before losing something I learned previously. It was overwhelming but I’ll get the hang of it in time.

Headset On, Let's Go!On Tuesday I woke up bright and early to get ready for my plane ride. I had to meet my fellow co-workers at the North Wahweap Entrance at 6:30am to get to the hanger at a good time. We showed up with time to spare. It’s just more time you get to have to get to know people. We got a short tour of the plane and I took a few photos. Boy was I nervous but I was ready and excited. Second day of work....Once I was up in that plane, I knew there was nothing that I could do to prevent my death in a crash so I sat back and enjoyed the ride. I put on my headset and was ready to go. The take off was nice and smooth and before you knew it, we were up in the air. The sun was casually rising above the horizon so the lighting was amazing on the rocks in the canyon. I took so many photos while the pilot pointed out parts of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon. We saw wild horses and an old indian ruin built into the side of a cliff. We were even served hot and fresh coffee and cookies. It was an amazing experience and that was just in the morning. After more training in Bullfrog we departed again in the afternoon. This time the temperature had increased into the mid-80s and it was fricken hot. A cold front happened to be moving in so the air bounced us around pretty good. Several times my camera would hit the window and then bounced back and hit me in the face. I’m surprised I didn’t get a black eye. It was all worth it though. Rainbow Bridge National MonumentWe got to see Rainbow Bridge, more wild horses and fly low along the lake. It was an amazing experience. I could’ve done without the turbulence though. They definitely should put in some holy shit handles because holding on to the bottom of my seat was not enough. I could’ve puked in the handy blue bag they provided but I survived. Plus it was my second day and I didn’t want to be known as “The Puker”. After a successful plane landing, I peeled myself off of the seat and departed for the day. Not too bad for my first two days of work.

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19 April 2012 Memories, Traveling

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