This past week was a short one, with the 4th of July off and a river trip on Tuesday. The river trip left Headquarters early in the morning and turned out well, with more water flow than expected and a great lunch on the riverbank. One of the canoes flipped after hitting a boulder sideways, but it was all pretty calm.

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With the next day off for the 4th of July, I took the opportunity to camp out Tuesday night with friends from the office and from the Chisos Lodge. An hour or so into our hike we heard what was most likely a bear shuffling around, followed by an awfully close panting…the kind of thing that gets your heart racing a little. The second half of our group hiking up behind us actually saw the bear shortly thereafter.

Our 4th of July here in the park was marked by a big pickleball tournament and potluck, and the rest of the week was calm with half the office on vacation. I finally got out to see the town of Terlingua with a friend from the office. Live small-town music makes you feel like you’ve gone back a few decades.

IMG_0745This week I was biking when I couldn’t resist the temptation of trying to bike up to the mountain lodge. This will be one of my goals for the rest of the summer. It’s a huge climb; the bike I’m riding is not meant to go up any sort of hill, and there are few days where the weather is cool enough with enough time till sunset to allow you to do it.

Like putting socks on a rooster.

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Written by Ivan Langesfeld
Environmental Analysis major at Pomona College (CA).