Friday, May 30, 2008

Project Vote Smart

"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people."

-John Adams

Well, one and a half books, two layovers, and three airlines later, I finally arrived in gorgeous Montana! Unfortunately, my luggage did not. It only took about 24 hours for it to be delivered though, and I was fine without it in the interim. Aside from that minor piece of bad luck though, I'm having a fantastic time! The ranch is beautiful (one of the white-capped mountains in the picture is the Continental Divide,) everyone here is super nice, and there are so many fun things to do! Besides the hiking, horse-back riding, canoeing, etc. that I was planning for, everyone really likes sports. I'm not a big athlete, but I've played volleyball, basketball, and I'm even playing left field for our coed softball team. We played a game on Tuesday against another local team, and we won - and I got two runs!

Not surprising perhaps, but the other interns are also a bit nerdy. I've found fellow board game fanatics, and I think we're planning to put on a musical in a few weeks. It really is like political summer camp!

There is no cell phone service on the ranch, but I've been told if you climb to the top of the hill in the picture above, sometimes you can get reception. I climbed the hill, but I haven't tried the cell service yet.

On my second day here, we went on a short hike around the property, and we saw this porcupine in one of the old homesteads. That's the only wildlife I've seen in person, but driving home from softball practice I've seen a bear and a herd of elk! I can't wait to see more wildlife in person, although maybe not a bear. :)

The altitude here is about 6,000 feet, so I'm always embarrassingly out of breath. I hope to get used to it soon. It's also pretty cold still. Last week is snowed! Now is not so bad; 50s with rain generally. I've ben assured that soon it will warm up and turn into a nice dry summer heat.

More about Project Vote Smart in the next post, but I highly recommend you check out their website in the meantime:

Friday, May 23, 2008

And so it begins...

I haven't left to do anything exciting quite yet. I'm still packing in Charlotte, but I thought I'd reacquaint myself with blogging before I go, not to mention share some pictures of my latest pottery creations, of which I am inordinately proud. I didn't make much this semester, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. (And they're all about as small as they look.)

I won't have a chance to do pottery over the summer, as the closest town (at 30 miles away,) has a population of about...900! Somehow I'm guessing that even if I had a way of getting over there frequently, they don't have a community pottery studio. I'll be more than occupied with hiking, horseback riding, and other outdoor pursuits on the ranch though.

While I'm posting random pictures, I thought I'd share this one of my brother Ryan and me. We went to the Nascar Speedstreet festival in downtown Charlotte yesterday. It was fun, even if we didn't get free t-shirts like we'd hoped for. :)

Coming soon: beautiful mountain scenes and tales from the battlefront for democracy!