Everything You Didn’t Already Know About My Summer; Wrap Up and Final Thoughts

On the afternoon of Friday, August 26th, I found myself saying my final goodbyes to everyone in the office at West Fraser Plywood, Williams Lake. I’ve had some time to reflect on the busy day of handing in gear, cleaning up my truck, and enjoying a pizza and cake lunch with the office, and I decided that you guys don’t know some things about my work term. As a last bit of fun on here, here are 5 things you didn’t already know about my summer, followed by some random images I haven’t had a chance to post yet.

  1. I worked 85 days this summer, spent maybe 8 days in the office (not including training) and about 70 days in the field.
  2. I saw 18 bears from the truck and had 3 bear encounters in the field, including one grizzly encounter. All my encounters were wildly positive; the bears behaved as they should and I got to have moments of watching these powerful animals. I actually wanted to do an entire blog on these encounters and bear safety in general, but time got the best of me this summer!
  3. I drove approximately 12,000 kilometers in my truck, and an average about 20+ hours of driving each week.
  4. I ate probably a gallon of wild berries (including raspberry, trailing raspberry, low bush blue berry, huckleberry, and gooseberry) just from picking the odd handful while walking around the bush.
  5. I had to have my truck towed out the bush about an hour and a half from town due to a failed starter solenoid and battery!

Figure. Delicious low-bush blueberries!

Figure 1. Delicious low-bush blueberries!

Figure. Credit: Erin DeShong. Myself enjoying some bright pink indian paintbrush flowers on lunch break.

Figure 2. Credit: Erin DeShong. Myself enjoying some bright pink indian paintbrush flowers on lunch break.

Figure. A less fun way of spending an afternoon in forestry.

Figure. A less fun way of spending an afternoon in forestry.

Figure. My first bear encounter was this little cinnamon coloured black bear. He scurried up the hill off our path where we were able to safely watch each other for a few minutes.

Figure 3. My first bear encounter was this little cinnamon coloured black bear. He scurried up the hill off our path where we were able to safely watch each other for a few minutes.

Figure. Beautiful wild flowers. This block would have been harvested about 15-20 years ago.

Figure 4. Beautiful wild flowers. This block would have been harvested about 15-20 years ago.

Figure. Some invasive but stunning flowers I encountered (orange and yellow hawkweed and oxeye daisy).

Figure 5. Some invasive but stunning flowers I encountered (orange and yellow hawkweed and oxeye daisy).

Figure. A view of Taseko Mining’s Gibraltor Mine from one my blocks west of Williams Lake. Some cut blocks are present in the foreground of this image, showing the visual contrast of forestry vs. mining on the landscape.

Figure 6. A view of Taseko Mining’s Gibraltor Mine from one my blocks west of Williams Lake. Some cut blocks are present in the foreground of this image, showing the visual contrast of forestry vs. mining on the landscape.

Figure. I always enjoy my encounters with smaller wildlife out in the bush.

Figure 7. I always enjoy my encounters with smaller wildlife out in the bush.

Figure. I always enjoy my encounters with smaller wildlife out in the bush.

Figure 8. I always enjoy my encounters with smaller wildlife out in the bush.

Well I guess I should draw up some final thoughts on my time with this office. There is a lot that comes to mind by the way of thank yous and expressing how much I learned or experienced, but what I really want to comment on is a little different. In reflection, I can think of experiences, learning, and good times had with each individual at this office. Every single person contributed a specific memory and learning experience to my summer. Considering this division has over 30 staff members (including students/temps) in the woods office, I was not expecting that, and I think that is the real factor of why this summer was so valuable. Everyone from the other students to the ladies at the front desk to the manager of the whole plant contributed; it was truly remarkable. My bush partner, Erin, also deserves some congratulating for putting up with me all summer, as well as some thanking for making me a more humble and thoughtful person through her insightful look on the world and forestry. Finally, to summer student coordinator and planning forester Janelle, thank you for the countless hours put in to making this program a great success!

On a last note, I want to thank everyone who read my blogs, whether you read them all of just this one, for your support. Thank you to the Forest Products Association of Canada for having me as a Green Dream Blog Intern this summer; it was an enjoyable experience and I hope everyone reading got as much value out of this as I did! Lastly, if anyone has any comments, questions, or feedback on any of my posts, please send it my way! I’d love to hear from you.

So that’s pretty much everything you didn’t already know about my summer, but one thing I hope everyone reading already did know, is that this summer was truly incredible. Well, I’m out of here and back to school next week! Now all I want is for the school year to race by as quickly as this summer did. Cheers!

Sydney Goward

Figure 9. Credit: Erin DeShong. The end of my last day in the bush; taking in a view of Horsefly Lake.

Figure 9. Credit: Erin DeShong. The end of my last day in the bush; taking in a view of Horsefly Lake.

2 Responses to Everything You Didn’t Already Know About My Summer; Wrap Up and Final Thoughts

  1. Muriel Hill says:

    Interesting, great reading!!!

  2. Brenda Wilde says:

    Awesome Sydney, looks like a great way to spend your summer, working , learning and enjoying the beautiful Cariboo Chilcotin.

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