Monday, July 28, 2008

Glacier and Goodbyes

"The information of the people at large can alone make them the safe as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom."

-Thomas Jefferson

It's my last week at Project Vote Smart, and I can hardly believe it. I've been saying goodbye to friends for a couple weeks now, but it's still a bit hard to believe my own time has come. I intend to make the most of my last week. I vowed last week to swim in the lake every day until I leave, and so far I have.

A couple weekends ago we took a PVS trip to Glacier National Park. It was beautiful! And lots of fun. It was a nearly perfect weekend, I'd say.

At one point a mountain goat took up residence on an information center roof. There were quite a few mountain goats and big-horned sheep. I didn't see any moose or bears though, which was slightly disappointing.

This week at the office we've been getting tons of calls about our Voter's Self Defense Manual (a PVS publication with key information from our website.) There have been advertisements, radio programs, and articles all over the country. We usually get about 25 hotline calls a day, but today we had 140!

Exactly 100 days until the election...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

All Backpacking, All the Time!

"Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free men."

-Dwight D. Eisenhower

I have gone backpacking every weekend for the past four weekends, with last weekend being the finale. For our long Fourth of July weekend, four of my friends and I went on a beautiful two night, 17 mile tour of the Anaconda Pintler National Wilderness. It couldn't have been lovelier, although it was also an adventure. We forded a river, did some cross-country bushwacking, and even weathered a couple hail storms! I couldn't be happier though.

There was still snow on the ground in some places, but it certainly wasn't cold during the day. At night it got pretty chilly, but we all had good gear. We opted out of tents, but I don't regret that decision at all. We were plenty warm and able to do some star gazing before bed. The stars are so bright when there's no other light around!

Above is the group that went last weekend, taken from the top of my friend's car. We're a pretty hard core bunch, I'd say. :)

I also visited a ghost town, which was really neat. This was a little ghost town set into the mountains, so it wasn't at all what I expected. From the few Westerns I've seen, I imagined a slightly eerie, dry town with tumble weeds and a feeling of desertion. The buildings were all quite destitute, as you can see above, but the area was peaceful and pretty. Lots of trees, flowers, and songbirds.

The mine shaft below probably leads to an old manganese mine. The town, Tower, was a silver mine and then manganese.

This coming weekend we're taking a big group trip to Glacier National Park with all the interns and some staff. I hope to have lots of great pictures and stories to share!