It's pouring down rain outside my office window at Longmire. In fact, it's been doing so, for the most part, since Saturday evening, just hours after our National Public Lands Day volunteers came in off the trail. What good fortune!
National Public Lands Day was exhilerating. In all, we logged 115 volunteers, who contributed 529 hours of time on 10 projects. Volunteers worked on restoring the Longmire Campground and cleaning up Sunshine Point; planing willows at Milepost 9 and rehabilitating construction areas at Kautz Creek; repairing the Wonderland, Pinnacle Peak, High Lakes, and (on Forest Service land) the Tatoosh Lakes Trails; carrying a new backcountry toilet in to Pyramid Creek; and cleaning up campsites along Skate Creek Road. Congressman Norm Dicks kicked off the event at Longmire, and representatives from Mount Rainier National Park and the Northwest Storm Recovery Coalition wrapped it up at the end of the day with a barbecue, door prizes, and slide show.
Things are much quieter now; while some volunteer projects will continue through the winter, most will now wait till next spring, especially since the higher elevations of our park are now getting buried by snow. Now we rest from our summer labors, and finalize our budgets, and compile the statistics that document our accomplishments, and plan for next year.
Meanwhile, if you weren't able to come to our end-of-season celebration, you can celebrate vicariously by downloading your own copy of our "volunteer scrapbook," the PowerPoint presentation I shared on Saturday evening. You just might find your own picture included! If not, make a note on your calendar to come join us again next year--and keep watching this site for volunteer program updates.