Saturday, August 24, 2013

The next day at  Wenix's house!

After the night of feeling like I was at home, we also got to sleep in until 7:45 am which for our group was a luxury . Our day was really chill! We ended up hanging out at the house learning how to make paint and the best part seeing how a traditional feast was set up while be able to sample the foods. I was able to taste the traditional roots, berries, and salmon. YUMMY:)
I was really happy that we were presented with this because of the power point Wenix had shown us the day before,it really made everything connect. 
We are on our way now to Spokane, Washington. Even though I will miss the no tax in Oregon I am m ready to be home in Washington. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

July 23rd- What A Day!

This morning we packed up (once again) camp in Wallowa, which seemed like the 100th time by this point considering our difficult tent we had and headed towards Umatilla, OR. 
We headed straight to meet with Wenix Redelk  who is the Department of Natural Resources Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Confederate  Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation.She presented us with a  power point presentation on First Foods Management  (traditional foods used by the tribes) and the traditional use of each food. I particularly enjoyed this presentation because I am not familiar with Native American culture and have been wanting to learn more for awhile before coming on this trip. This is before the day got overwhelming and exhausting. 
Wenix wanted to take us to the Meacham Creek Restoration Project but none of us knew what an experience it would be getting to the location-you will see what I mean! In order to get to the location , we had a somewhat long drive on a back road where there was no cell phone service and freshly rocked road way . We are just riding along and our of no where Band Wagon(the van with white swan students along with Wenix)  suddenly stops and BAM! Flat tire #1.. Then all of a sudden BAM! Flat tire #2 but on my van. Thank goodness for  Geo, a White Swan student who was amazing at changing tires fixed us up and we were all set to go to the location. We made it to the site  where we learned about the change of the course of the creek because of the railroad. Now they are working on  reversing the effects of the railroad  by restoring the natural pattern of the stream. After being informed with great information we left the creek and 
BAM!  War Pony got  TWO flat tires!!!!Thats SIX flats from the beginning of the trip!With no cell coverage and the heat, it was an unbearable part of the trip but of course we worked as a group and got the tire situation figured out and finally made it back to Wenix's house. 

Wenix knew that we were exhausted and missing home so she let us set up camp in her back yard. Her family was so inviting allowing us to use showers, normal toilets, and cooked delicious indian tacos!  She and We were able to play volleyball ,learn stick games, and just sit back and chill out. We ended up being able to watch Pitch Perfect and actually have an amazing night compared to our adventeroud morning!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pictures from the trip!

Hello all of my fellow followers or anyone that looks at my blog!
As you can see , I am a little bit behind of blogging. Today is our last day and I have not told you about everyday:(
When I get home I will be on my computer filling you in in my experiences but for now I will upload pictures from all 13 days!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TuesdayJuly 24- The Best Day So Far

I know I am behind about a week, but there has been so much going on! Finding the time,energy, and service to blog has been very difficult:(
I will catch you up on the rest of my adventure like I have promised but since last night is fresh in my mind I wanted to write about the best day/ night so far.
Well after a long 5 hour trip from Umatilla( yes we were in Umatilla which I need to fill you in on later) to the Spokane Resevation. We arrived around 8:45 and our hosts were generous enough to give us free Arbys!  We set up camp and had a chill night! We just ate and went to sleep. At this point you can tell everyone was ready for bed. In the morning we had an early wake uo call , but whats new? We wake up early every day! We got up ate breakfast and headed to the little building on the fair grounds  where we were formally introduced to our gracious hosts and other people that work for natural resources : Billy Joe Kieffer (Director for Spokane Tribe Department of Natural Resources),  Warren Seyler (BPA Coordinator), John Matt (Heritage Coordinator), Bill Matt (Environmental Officer), Brian Crossley (DNR for Spokane Tribe Program Manager), Casey Flannigan (DNR for Spokane Tribes Project Manager), and Brent Nichols (Program Manager for Lake Roosevelt Fisheries)after they filled us in on who they are and what they do and then we  finally headed out to the field.
This is when the day gets good!
We took a small hike up Shimikin creek where we learned about carbon copy foot prints. This tracks what kind of animals have been in the area. We learned how to set up the thing that attracts the animals into the footprint area.(picture 2) You use very nasty smelling meat  inside of a camouflaged metal container that will lure the animal in . After getting that set up, we got to head to a BBQ that was prepared  our host.  We also got soda to accompany our meal . A nice ice cold Pepsi was amazing to us!! After lunch we got to do the best activity so far, Shock Fishing. I was a little bit hesitant to go in the water but Jessica volunteered Heritage students to go first. I got my waiters on and I was the bucket person.The two who had the back packs on shocking the fish looked  like ghost busters "Who ya gonna call?"  I was running back and forth between the two people shocking the fish trying to keep up. Our group caught about 7 fish I believe. It was amazing!! It even made me think about changing my major at one point. After that we headed back to camp to get ready for swimming and our dinner.  We went to Lake Roosevelt and had an amazing day on the water followed by a salmon dinner which was delicious.Besides some drama and safety issues , everyone had a great day. We had stories told to us at sundown by the Spokane Tribal members and by a few of the Heritage clan. I of course shed some tears, I was finally to that point where I realized this trip is so worth it. I have not only learned information about wildlife/fisheries/ restoration ( the scientific aspect of the trip) but I have gained more than any text book or any length of a semester could have taught me. I have learned perseverance, respect, trust, and the ability to adjust to any environment/ situation that is thrown my way which will actually help me in the real world when I am on my own. Over all today, like I said was the best day so far. The Spokane tribe really knows how to take care and welcome us as if we are family. A big thank you to them!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21- My first Pow Wow Day

As we arrived to Wallowa, I was getting a bit nervous to attend my very first pow wow. I have heard stories of racism by fellow class mates and I did not want to be stared down because I was not Native American. We got there a bit late so Saturday night we did not have much time to spend at the pow wow because we were exhausted. It was nice that night to fall asleep to the beat of the drum and the Native American songs. We woke up bright and early  to go to the Nez Perce Tribe's fishery led by Jim Harbeck (Field Officer Super for Nez Perce Fishery). He  had taken us to the Nez Perce Weir at Lostine River. When we arrived at the fishery, Jim gave us some information about the salmon population. We viewed the Spring Chinook Salmon at the site which are captured measured and  checked for internal identification tags and injected with an antibiotic. After a long morning we went to the Chief Joseph's grave a the tip of Wallowa Lake. Our group loves swimming and Jessica gave in and let us swim. The water was amazing . It was clear and perfect temperature!Afterwards we headed back to the grounds and got invited to the friendship feast. I tried many foods that I have never had before. I tasted buffalo and Elk. They had buffalo meat loaf but for anyone that knows me, I will never give in and eat meat loaf so I just ate the regular buffalo. It was actually very good. I think I need to start giving more foods a chance!( still stubborn about meat loaf though, yuck!)
Once the friendship feast was over we headed back to our camp to meet and talk with a Nez Perce tribal elder, Elmer Crow and his wife. He mainly spoke about his history and about  the cultural and scientific importance of these animals in our world. He really made me think! He told all of us to be educated in where we come from , and how to introduce ourselves to a croud with confidence. He also passed around home made eels and other items that he made himself. After we enjoyed his company we go to go enjoy the rest of the pow wow! Over all..Great Day!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 6 - On the Road Again July 20th

I apologize for my blogs not being in chronological order. As I mentioned and I am sure everyone has mentioned this in their blog, that blogging is not the most convenient thing we are able to do. With myself, I like going into detail about what I have done for the day, so you as my reader can actually picture yourself in my shoes. With that said, I hope with this blog post you read you can feel my pain of being on the road for 12 hours.
It was the day of  traveling. We traveled from Deschutes National Forest to Wallowa. It should have only been an 8-9 hour drive but with the way we travel it ended up being 12 hours on the road. Our first stop was the painted hills where we ate lunch and observed the beautiful hills. After about 5 more hours of snoring , complaining, and sing a longs we ended up having a nutritious meal at a luxury restaurant called Burger King.;)  We got back on the road and we finally arrived to Wallowa Pow Wow grounds where we would be spending the next two nights getting to enjoy the atmosphere of the Native American culture.
Please read my next blog to see how my first Pow Wow experience was!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday July 18,2013-Lava Rock Cave

Our first stop of the day was Lava Rock Cave in the Deschutes Forest. This is where we met with several specialists of different areas and they shared great information with us. We first met with Bart Mills who is a geologist for forest and also the leader of the tour of the cave. He had to ask us if we had been to any caves and if so we needed to tell him where it was. I was wondering why it was such a big deal if we had been to another cave. We later found out why.  As we entered the cave, we were given a lantern. This was mind blowing to me because Boulders cave does not have any guides or lanterns to lead the way. The cave was very cold as it was usually stays around 42 degrees, even in the winter time. The cave is about 80,000 years old and was a lava flow from Newberry. The cave is over  one mile long sinking about 150- 200 feet. It was one of the most interesting locations I have ever been to. There were cracks in the walls of the cave showing the direction of the lava flow. We were on a bit of a time crunch, so we could only go so far inside the cave. After coming back up, we met with Barbara Webb who is a biologist that shared general information about caves and facts about bats that I had no clue about. She had asked if we all like bats and in my head I was thinking " Ew" and "Heck no" but  before I could even answer she said "Well we love bats here, so I hope you all love them" so of course I shut up. She explained to us that bats help our ecosystem by controlling the insect population, because that is what they feed on. She finally mentioned why it was so important that they know what caves we had been to also. It is because of a disease called White Nose Syndrome, which is a fungus brought over from Europe. It is passed on from bat to bat and humans can carry it from location to location by gear.I am out of time for now but will continue my blog when I have service.Make sure to keep checking back with me to see how my day ended.

I'm back.My phone is charged and I have perfect service. One of the main struggles with this whole blogging thing.  

Anyways... as I was saying we were informed about this disease and learned all about there screening process to refrain the white nose syndrome from being passed to the PNW. After an awesome time at the caves we got to go up a lava butte with a man named Doug Johnson, the division chief of his area. He took us up to the fire lookout where he let us know the process he takes to manage his crew and all the precautions necessary to be successful at his job. We were taken up to the top of the fire lookout and got shown how the dragon plot system works, which is a system used to pinpoint the location of a fire down to the exact street. We were then introduced to Aaron, who was a very interesting archaelogist. She let us know exactly what she does for the Daschutes Forest and the journey that she took to become what she is. I loved hearing her story because it made me feel like I do have time to get all I want out of life.   
          Of course, the minute we hear lunch everyone's brains turn off and we all start acting like vultures. This time our lunch was not sandwiches, but the forest service provided us with a very fulfilling lunch. We had a very delicious BBQ lunch! After lunch we got to take a stroll down the Deschutes river with G.I Shane and Environmental Barbie (these are  the nicknames a few of us girls gave them). Over all , it was a great day filled with information, food, and with our bunch great laughter.