Stories From the Field: Daniel Boone National Forest


A few closing remarks

Dear Readers,

We find ourselves here at the end of an exciting and challenging season, looking back with fond memories on the adventures of the last five months. As this will be the Daniel Boone 5’s last blog entry, we will do our best to fill you in on all of the latest events of the season’s final days.

Since our last blog entry, we moved out of our lovely house in Whitley City, returning to our blue, little tent homes at Koomer Ridge in the Red River Gorge. With the non-native invasives work completed, we resumed trail maintenance on the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation trail. Our first project involved placing 12 timber stairs on a precipitous section of the trail. During the construction of this (if we may say) marvelous staircase, we encountered several large groups of hikers who complimented us on a job well done. We got a few pictures with some of the friendly visitors and even helped some active elderly hikers down the trail!

As summer gave way to fall in Daniel Boone National Forest, we were greeted with cooler temperatures, beautiful changing leaves, and one last burst of the Gorge’s characteristic precipitation. While the inclement weather continued to present a challenge, defeat was most certainly not an option! Finishing out the season strong, we built five final steps and three water bars, also making use of one remaining relic of past trail construction, turning a sunken timber step into a well-placed water bar. These rejuvenating elements are sure to uphold the much improved condition of Bison Way, as well as adding a rustic ease-of-access to the forest for fellow hikers and nature goers of the Gorge.

As we part ways, each of us will be moving on to exciting, new adventures:

Hi! Lindsay here! This SCA experience has not always been easy, but it was a great experience for me. I loved living in a national forest and living in a tent for four months wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be! After this program ends, I will be spending a few days in Kentucky with my family and then headed back to Buffalo, New York where I am sure it will be snowing. I plan on working with my father and uncle in their home remodeling business. I will actively be looking for new SCA postions and am excited for what my future will hold!

Hey everyone! Matt, here. My time here in the Red River Gorge has definitely presented a unique set of challenges, but I feel like I’ve grown a lot in these last five months, individually and as a member of the SCA community. I also feel like I’m a little bit closer to knowing what I want to do when I grow up! Indeed, I’ve realized through the course of the season that I want to be involved in a career in conservation, and while I’m not sure what form that will take just yet, I feel like I’m well on my way to figuring that out. After the season’s end, I’ll be working on the recently-formed SCA Leader crew, continuing trail maintenance in the Gorge for two more months, before setting off to Idaho to work as a Winter Trail Ranger intern with the USDA Forest Service!

For me (Paige), these last two months have been exactly the life experience I needed after spending 4 years in college preparing to enter the “real world.” Working in the field with the other crew members allowed me to learn not only new technical skills, but the value of teamwork. Though the days were often long and tiring, the results were well worth it and made me proud of our group’s solid work. As I prepare to return home, I wonder what new possibilities await. I hope to resume my direction in the field of conservation, perhaps gaining experience as a research assistant or field technician before I apply for graduate school.

Yo, Siddiq on the rocks. I have to say I’ve grown quite fond of the forest life in the Gorge. As I’m not so accoustomed to parting with places and things that give me pleasure, I’ve accepted a continuation of my work and experience here. I’ll be skipping through two more months of some seriously intense trail work to add to that which I’ve already accumulated these past five month. So the journey continues, moving onward and upward to better and brighter opportunities. I hope, in the near future, to find a place working in the forest service doing what I love. Until next time!

And last but not least, Mason. It’s been my pleasure leading this fine group of young conservationists in the DBNF. Challenging at times, but always rewarding, the last five months have given me valuable skills and a strong sense of accomplishment. I will be moving on to work as a technical advisor for the Florida Trail Association, but plan to return with the SCA for more great times after the winter season. In closing, thank you, dear readers, for all the support you’ve given us over the course of this season.