by Donna Lorincz, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06
Quincy Maret once saw a mother bear with two cubs and a deer with her fawn all drinking from the same watering hole at Mount Rainier National Park. Witnessing their “peaceful coexistence” is just one of many special moments he cherishes from Rainier.
Besides his SCA internship at Rainier, Quincy has served on two SCA trail crews to Alaska as well as an internship in Florida. But he keeps coming back to Rainier, and now works as a seasonal Trail Crew member. What is it about Rainier that draws people like Quincy to this beautiful park? I talked to him recently about his Rainier experiences, his SCA lessons, and what makes him laugh.
You’re currently a seasonal worker at Mount Rainier. What do you do?
Seasonal workers here at Rainier can only work for part of the year, usually during the Park's peak operational season, or when weather permits the work Because of the amounts of snow during the winter, the trails operations often don't get fully underway until April, or even May, and then wind down sometimes as late as October. As a seasonal Trail Crew member, I basically do trail building, maintenance, and repair as well as other duties, such as assisting with search and rescues, working with helicopters to move project materials and also assisting with wildfire suppression operations.
What are the challenges of the Rainier restoration?
There are many challenges to the restoration efforts and I’ve only begun to see the true extent of the damage. What I’ve seen though, is a real eye-opener to the power of nature and what it can do in a short amount of time. The biggest challenges ahead we may not even have uncovered, but for now I believe a big focus will be repairing the stream crossings that were extensively washed out throughout the park. A lot of the trails in the park cross streams and rivers many times and repair of these sections of trail is needed to provide a safe and fun experience for Rainier visitors.
Do you see anything good that will come from the flood damage?
It’s unfortunate that the flooding has done so much damage to the trails, yet it will provide the opportunity for new exciting trail building projects, for the crews here as well as for the volunteers that help provide much needed help. We can always use the help of volunteers, and this opportunity is one that should not be turned down. It will be hard work, but it’s one of the greatest things to see the volunteers sense of accomplishment when they look at a section of trail that they have been a part.
What (besides the cubs and fawn) is one of your favorite memories at Rainier?
There are really so many memories at Rainier that it’s hard to pick just one. I have really enjoyed getting to work with the people of this park and be part of the ongoing operations that have taken place here over the past few years. Some of the most memorable moments have been while staying in the Park’s backcountry cabins and lookouts. Most are placed with a backdrop of amazing scenery that never seems to loose its appeal for me.
How did you first become aware of your outdoor interests?
I basically grew up knowing my outdoor interests. I was raised in a very camping and outdoors-oriented family and lived where I could just go across the street to go exploring and hiking in the forests that surrounded the town.
What does it mean to you to be an SCA alum?
Being an alumnus of SCA allowed me the opportunity to try and reach out to others who just joined the program or were thinking of doing an internship and share with them my experiences and encourage them to continue if they had the interest.
Do you have any words of wisdom for the SCA newbies?
For someone working on a high school crew, I have no greater advice than: keep in touch with those on your crew that you come to share your life with and experience the world with. They can become your best friends.
Advice for other alumni?
Spread the word. SCA isn't necessarily for everyone, but it can be a life changing experience to those who go into it open mindedly, with a sense of adventure and a passion to see new places and meet new people.
What makes you laugh?
I just got a new puppy, pure bred Golden Retriever, her name is Chloe. She is such a ball of fun. She'll want to play with dogs 10 times her size and chew up an entire newspaper then look at you like 'it wasn't me'.
What are you really good at?
I got into photography while working on the high school crews, and have pursued it rather consistently ever since. I have decided to minor in it actually. It has become one of my passions, and I love trying to capture the world around me as I saw it, whether it be trying to capture the spectacular sunset, the awesomeness of a lightning storm, the raw beauty of nature, or animals in their habitats.
Before I die, I'd like to...
Travel the world.
The big decision I'm currently wrestling with is...
Where to go from here...I would like to settle down, yet still have a traveling spirit. See the world, take photographs etc. SCA has given me so many opportunities to volunteer, travel and build work experience and for that I am grateful. I will always keep those memories close.
Thank you for sharing your SCA journey with us Quincy. Especially as we come together in Rainer restoration efforts this year, we are happy to celebrate dedicated people like you. Your appreciation for SCA, the land, and those that you come in contact with is contagious. We’re looking forward to seeing what path you end up taking as well. Good luck and thank you again for the memories.
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