When I first came to Frazier Park, I was scared. It was two days after graduation, my first summer away from home, and my first time moving to a new place with no one that I knew. However, when I first stepped out of the car, smelt the Jeffery Pines ad fresh air, I knew it would be an amazing summer. I was right. This summer has been one of the best. I have made new friends, had amazing experiences, and made steps to conquering some personal fears.
Through this internship, I have realized that field work is amazing. Before, I knew I enjoyed being outside, but this summer allowed me to work outside for extended periods of time. Certain days, I was not sure if I could continue on. I was tired, sore, and hungry. But then just over the next ridge we would make an amazing discovery, and my energy would be restored. I have learned how to use a radio, which is much different than a walkie-talkie. I have become more familiar with GPS equipment. Best of all, I have improved my academic learning, and used it in hands on situations.
The Chumash used to call Mt. Pinos the “Center of the World,” and being here this summer, I completely understand what they meant. When standing at the top of the mountain, you can see for miles and miles in all directions. However, I do not believe the Chumash named the mountain just for its amazing view. While being in nature this summer, making collections and documenting locations, I felt at peace with the world. This may sound strange to come, but I believe the Chumash named this area the “Center of the World” because it brings a sense of calm to people, unlike anywhere else. I am very sad to be leaving this special place, but I am leaving thankful of the experiences and opportunities it has provided to me.