The Places You Go and the People You Meet

It’s difficult to describe the sights you see and the souls you meet while out on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. From this internship I got everything and more than I could imagine. I expected to be totally immersed in the wilderness. I was expecting to see amazing things in places I had never been. And that is exactly what I got. I got sweeping mountain top views in the Adirondacks and Green Mountains of Vermont. I learned to paddle whitewater and to enjoy the quiet travel of a canoe down winding rivers. Some waterfalls crashed, and others flowed gently over the rocks they had been shaping for centuries. Sunsets and fireflies painted our skies almost nightly. I heard loon calls, owl hoots, and mosquitos buzz outside my tent. It was more beauty than I could have ever imagined.

But it was the people I met this summer that made it all the more special. Strangers thanked us for our work with cold beverages and kind words of appreciation. We met folks from all around who taught us about the waterways they love, making every project more meaningful for us as we developed the same respect. In one of our earliest projects, we connected with the town of Richford through Michael Hranek, an owner of a river access site. He gifted us with his friendship and a wok! Our volunteers, though with us for only a short time, left us remembering the relationships we had developed through hard work and a shared love of the water. Dave Brown and Ann Ingerson invited us to their home to show us their passions and lifestyle. I am lucky to still be in contact with them after the summer ended! All of these places and people and moments I shared with my little crew. We made lasting friendships with each other, surviving the heat and bugs and weather together. Sharing knowledge, stories, and laughter with them made my adventures all the more special. From this summer I am taking away an appreciation for the beautiful, wild places that bring people together.

Apply to be part of the 2019 Stewardship Crew. Deadline March 1

Read More from the 2018 Stewardship Crew

Sacred Waters by Christin Cohee

Relying on determination, support and humor by Eliot Brett

A Summer Well Spent by Sam Righi

Support the Northern Forest Canoe Trail by donating to the Mission Fund.