The Finale of the Last Frontier

Over the past 3 months we have had the opportunity to travel to more of this state than most Alaskan residents do. I couldn’t be more pleased with the CLM internship program. I have seen places between Nome and Valdez. Alaska is quite possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. Along with enjoying the scenery, I’ve also broadened my knowledge of plant identification immensely.

This past month we went from Glennallen, to Nome, to Fairbanks/Central and back. We have made a significant amount of seed collections of native Alaska plants that exceeds the expected quantity. I have started to really enjoy collecting and approve of what the seeds will be used for. If the feeling of frustration kicks in there is usually a blueberry or crow berry to help lift our morale. Sometimes we pick enough to make blueberry pancakes in the morning. Those are the best mornings. Nothing starts the day better than fresh blueberry pancakes.

Luckily on our drive home from Fairbanks, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Which gave us the most spectacular view of Mt. McKinley/Denali possible. We couldn’t help but stop to take pictures.

If there is one thing this internship has taught me it’s to enjoy every little bit of natures beauty. Whether it be a beautiful plant to re-vegetate or a huge mountain, just appreciate it while you can.

Chrissy Balk
Anchorage, Ak
September 17, 2010

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