Fantastic Foray to Stuck Truck

The Rocky Mountain Research Station in Boise, Idaho is incredibly busy! I started off my internship by travelling with some forest service coworkers to a Botanical Foray at the Desert Experimental Range (DER) in Utah. Marguerite, Bebe, Anna and I met some amazing botanists who are passionate about the Great Basin. We hiked up Tunnel Springs Mountains, I collected and pressed some cool cacti (and made my first ever voucher!!), and we socialized with like minded botanists. We filled some of our free time with campfire stories, hunting for scorpions, going to Great Basin National Park to scout for rare plants, and seeing some beautiful scenery.

DER Camp
Desert Mojave Cactus
Pressing a Cactus

In the middle of June, I helped assist a BSU project in Bruneau, Idaho. We camped at Bruneau Dunes State Park. We identified species in blocks for a master student’s data.

Jessica – Bruneau
BSU Students + Archie

My last big trip of the month was to the Modoc Plateau in Oregon, California, and Nevada. Elric and I went with Joe, a forest service seasonal employee to scout for plants in predetermined wetland sites for a follow up survey of an AIM season. Hiking in the Great Basin is so unique, one minute you are in sagebrush steppe or desert, the next you are in small wetland areas.

First Night Sunset
Birthday Sunset

We found some amazing plants that weren’t on our species list- like this huge puffball!

Puffball- size of my hand!
IRMI- Target Species
Obsidian Fragment

Then… we hit a little speed bump in our trip. We got stuck in some mud, and ended up having to call for a rescue from Boise. We were about 6.5 hours away, but Jessica and Anna came to our rescue! Elric, Joe and I camped out for about 40 hours waiting for help to arrive, since we got stuck in the late day/early evening on Wednesday 6/28.

Stuck Truck
Rescue Truck
Elric’s Celebration

After long hours of working on the truck’s escape from the mud, we finally got it! We had a celebratory spaghetti dinner, and then we camped close by for the night. We were able to finish out assignment in the Modoc Plateau! We got back late Friday (6/30), and we are so relieved to be back home.

Overall, this has been such a thrilling first month to my internship! I can’t wait to see what the rest of this season holds with these amazing people!