As I am sitting here on the aeroplane I don’t know where to begin writing this post. The past three months have been an incredible, eye opening and spectacular adventure. I had no idea what to expect before I came. Not for a minute did I imagine myself camping for three nights, while mountain hiking and electro fishing on my first week at work with a group of fish biologists and hydrologists that I had met that Monday morning. Nor did I think I would be spending my weekends doing such a range of activities from learning how to become a cowgirl (vaccinating calves) to relaxing in the hot springs with a popsicle. It’s safe to say I have had incredible and eclectic experiences in Montana.
It would not have been the same if I didn’t meet the people I did. I cannot thank the Salix family enough for being such fabulous hosts. I loved all the activities we did together: our weekend trips to Yellowstone and nearby towns, hunting with Nolan, hiking with Jessie and having yurt disco parties with the girls. The family are such an inspiration building their own ership sustainable home. I was lucky enough to stay in their luxurious yurt which was tonnes of fun and it was great to have Sukhin as my room mate. We are from completely different parts of the world and we got on like a house on fire: going on weekend road trips, exploring, dancing, cooking and having a good old laugh together. I can not wait to visit India and see first hand all the wonders Sukhin has told me about. We shared a fabulous summer together, both seeing amazing new wonders each day.
I would also like to say a massive thank you to every one at work. Jim and Kevin have been perfect, teaching me so much and arranging lots of exciting field work trips. And of course my main hydrology partner in crime Geraldine. We had such a blast together, camping in the wild, axing trees and falling in rivers.
Everyone in Montana has been so great to me. Nick picking me up from the airport even though he didn’t know me, Katy taking us on day trips and introducing us to furthermore friends, Meg and charelene in their beautiful ranch showing me how to brand and Dorothy my mountain hiking buddy – exploring Montana summits and swimming I’m freezing lakes after our long, glorious hike.
I found this position online last easter and when I got it, I thought why not? It has been an incredible journey. Not only have I have learnt, seen and experienced so much but I have realised what is important in life. I started off knowing no one, I took a complete leap of faith, meeting strangers who become such close friends. It just goes to show that while you should be cautious to a certain extent, you have to just trust people and except people’s kindness. Not every stranger is evil and out to get you as we are sometimes taught in schools. This is far from the truth. No one in Dillon was ever rude, in too much of a rush to help or walked past you with out saying howdy. It was a truly amazing experience.
While I am sad to be saying goodbye to such good friends, the majestic mountains and a beautiful home, with alpacas for neighbours, I am excited to start another chapter of my traveling adventure. I sure will miss the family, best friends, care free way of life and working in the great outdoors but I am also ready to see some more of the world.
Follow my next few posts to see how the city girl copes going from being in the rural countryside back to her native environment – the big city, San Francisco.