Living in Oregon was a whole new two-month life. I’ve thought for a while now about leaving for somewhere where I’d know no one and nowhere to challenge myself and call it an adventure. This wasn’t a difficult challenge. This isn’t because I’m comfortable everywhere I go and am an adaptation queen, but that I am extremely lucky. I am lucky that I loved my position working with ODFW. I am lucky the people I got to work with became mentors professionally and friends personally. I am lucky to have lived in a beautiful and quaint coastal town. I am lucky that my dorm hallmates were genuine, fun, and loved talking about and collecting plants. I am lucky that every single 2018 Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar is a wonderful person to know, and the lovely ladies who ran this program did a heck of a job. For all these things I feel lucky for, I am thankful.
As I write this I am sitting in a study room at my college, Virginia Tech. I’ve jumped right back into my normal life, it’s been a hectic transition. As I placed my few Oregon keepsakes on my shelf last night I had a lot of fun telling my college roommates about them. I have a small stuffed bear dressed as a park ranger I bought during our midsummer camping mishap that left us to eat at a local restaurant that had a cute gift store. I have posters of bay clam and crabs I used to refer to every time I measured samples, now I know more than what the posters say. I bought a piece of cement imprinted with a leaf from a day trip down to Bandon I showed them. I gave my roommate an art print of a caribou I found at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. My shelf holds souvenirs of my summer memories.
I had a lot of firsts this summer, I’ll try to list all of them but know after I post this blog I’ll think of even more.
- Tried an Oyster that I didn’t like.
- Tried a tamale that I did like.
- Drove a boat.
- Went camping (in a tent, so real camping.)
- Went to Oregon!
- Went to California!
- Saw the Redwoods.
- White water rafting.
- White water kayaking.
- Went into a cave (with a guide and didn’t touch anything of course.)
- Dug for clams.
- Ate new berries: Huckleberry, Marionberry, Salmonberry, Salal Berry.
- Held a live shrimp.
- Stayed in a hotel room by myself.
- Witnessed smoke from forest fires.
- Saw Harbor Seals in the wild.
- Saw Bald Eagles in the wild.
- Saw a porcupine in the wild.
- Saw whales in the wild.
- Entered the Pacific Ocean.
I will miss my wild and wonderful Oregon coast adventure with the people who made it so hard to leave.