I had already had my reckoning with the “real world.” I had invested tons of time and energy into graduating near the top of my class in one of the hardest majors at a top tier school. I was so burnt out, I couldn’t fathom jumping straight into the biotech field. I spent the next 2.5 years in a sort of limbo, working a dead end job, not quite sure what to do with myself.
Four years ago, CoolWorks changed my life with my very first seasonal job, so much that here I am still in love with working seasonal jobs in the National Parks, and I never want to go back to the life that I had before. These experiences have given me the opportunity to find a life filled with wonder, curiosity, different people, and experiences that I have yet to know.
I gained so much more from this job than I could have ever hoped to when I applied. I could never have anticipated the ways these experiences would change me. I so enjoyed meeting the people I worked with, exploring the Park and learning about how to function in this beautiful, spiritual and remote location.
I always felt there was something big waiting for me just around the corner, and three seasons ago, that something big finally materialized. I quit my job as a dental office manager, sold my house and took my show on the road.
A mosquito bite almost ended my life at sixteen years old. It transferred a virus that infected the fluid surrounding my brain, causing it to swell and squeeze it, leaving me in a coma for four days and with the complications of a brain-damaging stroke. It mainly affected my speech, which took about two years to fully recover from. And when I felt that I’d made it back to “the old me,” one major difference persisted: I no longer believed that I was guaranteed a full life. I understood that life could end at any time.
I had never spent much time in mountainous states. I came from Iowa, and I felt I had been dropped from the sky into an unbelievable scene. I still can’t believe my first sight of Glacier National Park; I couldn’t stop smiling!
I felt a desire to get out and not only see things, but to go and do things.
To get things done in the name of Conservation, and I found my passion in life. Sometimes you have to take the chance on something. And you never know how many doors will open after that.
I am a tour guide and driver in a National Park. PINCH ME!
This astounding place that the rest of the world dreams of visiting for just a blink? It can be your backyard. You get to not only visit, but wake up and be home there – everyday.
Denali stole my heart: wide open vistas, alpine tundra slopes, Dall Sheep grazing on rugged mountain peaks. Wilderness. Wolves. Grizzly bears. The challenge of it all. The freedom. The evolution of the short summer season, from an eager and intense spring to the snowflakes and stillness of fall. The hard work & the camaraderie. One season and I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough, and everything had changed.