Just as my garden is emerging after a long winter’s nap, so too am I! Since we’ve been stationary for the winter at our home in Vermont, I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging, with the exception being the series I’ve started on my photographic journey. I’m awake now, and ready to exercise my fingers on the keyboard once again.
I wandered around this morning capturing some of the flowers and admiring my garden since I will not see it again until next Fall!
In less than a week, I will be traveling to my summer workamping spot and I thought it fitting to wake up the creative, writing side of my brain with a reflection on Acadia National Park – past, present and future – and how I got to this point.
Let’s begin with the present – as this is where my story really unfolds. For the past two years, while performing various workamping posts, I have diligently pursued applying for National Park Service positions with the hope of landing a job as an interpretive ranger or visitor use assistant. My objective resting on the fact that I am very well-qualified for one of these positions given my background. I am a Parks and Recreation major from Penn State University, and at the time I graduated (way back in 1979) my sole purpose in life was to secure a position with the park service. I was naïve back then and did not realize how difficult these jobs were to obtain. It was somewhat easier to attain a state park ranger position, so I settled for a seasonal position with the Pennsylvania State Park system. My rationale being to gain experience and be more marketable when a federal job opened up.
Well, it did not happen – and at that time, I really needed to be realistic and look for stable, full-time work. So, “stuff happened” and I moved in a different direction. After a lifetime of raising my family and pursuing other fields of interest, I’ve jumped head on into this new nomadic life-style, and I have returned to my long-ago dream and, once again, set my sights on the park service. It’s been a frustrating experience fraught with disappointment, but I have learned a good deal about how to approach filing applications with the federal government. With some helpful advice from a human resources employee I met while at Glacier NP, and the endless encouragement from some of my dear fellow workampers and friends, I persevered. After endless applications spanning two years, this was my year.
In January, I received a referral to the hiring supervisor at Acadia National Park. I had been at this stage of the process before, so was optimistic as well as realistic. To my surprise, she kept in touch and eventually offered me a position. Finally, I had managed to fulfill one of my life goals – to work for the National Park Service! It only took me 40 years – Ha! I’m excited about living in Acadia NP for the summer, and looking forward to revisiting this beautiful place on the Maine coast.
My first trip to Acadia was in 1985 with my husband, Jim. We tent camped in the Blackwood’s Campground and our timing was impeccable as usual. (Note the sarcasm in my “voice”) We arrived during the last hurrah of the summer – the week before Labor Day. Since we did not travel with reservations, even back then, we were forced to endure the morning ritual of showing up at the ranger station hoping for a cancellation. Luck was with us, and we were able to stay in the campground for the entire week. Our favorite memory from that trip was the invitation we received from an older couple. We woke up one morning to a drenching rain, and the prospects of cooking breakfast were dim. The couple in the campsite next to us had a travel trailer, and as we emerged from our tent, they were there inviting us to have breakfast with them. That kindness is something we will never forget!
Hiking Cadillac Mountain – 1985
Along the coast – 1985
Our second trip to Acadia was in 1998 – with two kids in tow, and the families of Jim’s sister and brother. This was one of the few times we secured reservations in advance since we were a sizable group. The vacation was incredible. We all enjoyed endless excursions to the rocky coast, biking the carriage roads, and the infamous whale watching trip (that we still laugh about today).
Hiking with family – 1998
The infamous and eventful Whale Watch trip – 1998!
Twenty years later, I’m thrilled to be spending the entire summer on the Maine coast exploring old sights as well as new places of interest. I’ve already started a bucket list of things to do and see.
Look for my posts from Mount Desert Island throughout the summer as I chronicle my time along this rugged coastline. Although I am going to miss the West and the mountains this summer, I’m looking forward to being on the east coast near family and friends – many of whom are planning a trip North to visit me.
jusqu’à la prochaine fois (until next time)