And so it ends

Last Friday morning we finished our scheduled field work for the trail mapping project for Washington Department of Natural Resources. The past two weeks we were in beautiful Tahuya State Forest right on the doorstop of Olympic National Park. The views in the park and in the surrounding area were great, snow capped mountain peaks and pristine lakes. This forest was A LOT easier given the great weather we had and the gently sloped terrain. Don’t get me wrong, we still punched in 11-12 hour days 5 days a week, so it wasn’t a walk in the park (no pun).  Tahuya was about a quarter the size of Capitol State Forest, more like a rain forest, and the trails were mostly 4×4 accessible which made biking a lot easier.

There wasn’t as much wildlife in Tahuya, but we managed to spot a mother black bear and her cub about 45 yards from us one evening. I also did a stupid thing with nature, while throwing rocks at a squirrel I missed the squirrel and got a bees’ nest. And we know the end of that story, but I only got stung once. As for biking well I went over the handlebars twice in one day which probably added up to about 8 bike falls in the two weeks there, so not bad for me. Most importantly I never had to go to the hospital, if you really know me that will leave you shocked.

I won’t say we didn’t have any setbacks, we endured my companion breaking her bike on the second day and it took us until the fourth day to get it fixed. But all in all it wasn’t like two flat tires and pouring down rain, but it was still something to overcome and still find a way to stay on schedule. We both learned that scheduling ahead of time is not always going to lead to a easy job. Its like baseball, pitchers and batters are always adjusting to keep up with the competition. Fail to adjust, and well you get demoted to AAA or get traded. I still tell people climbing Mt Rainier was easier than biking Capitol State Forest.

Right now we’re in the process of reviewing our data and using ArcGIS software to edit some of our data to we can present it to our client this week. Essentially, we’re preparing an overview of what the client will get from us in our final report. Meeting with the client at this phase is beneficial in many ways. They can offer suggestions now that can be changed easily, it allows them to know our progress in each forest, and helps keep both sides completely in the loop.


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This blog is operated by Engineering and Applied Science Ambassadors, a student group at the University of Cincinnati. Our purpose is to advance the relationship between the community, students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
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