The best part of my summer with ACMNP was experiencing a place of true wilderness. National parks are protected for human enjoyment and scenic tourism. Coming to Glacier Bay was experiencing a whole other world and the wildlife was so pure and free. Everything lives in community and is healthy.
One day I would be out on a boat witnessing a whale breaching thirty-seven times or I could be camping up bay and a grizzly four times my size is twenty-five yards up the shore flipping rocks looking for muscles.
My summer was full of so many challenges and I am not sure what would rank as the most challenging. It was hard holding together my emotions after certain events, and it was challenging to stay in the park. Being in a park so isolated, no cell service, a small group of employees, and a lack of hiking also was challenging. So how did I deal? First, a lot of prayer. There is no way I would have been able to finish this summer alone. I had a lot of support from back home and encouragement.
I connected and spent a lot of time with my roommates, but made sure they knew where I stood. I would run the rainforest trail that we have here after work to clear my head and pray some more. I was surprised at how remote this place would feel and how much I would miss civilization. But it’s fun to talk with other employees and talk of all these first world problems of how we miss driving a car or going to a grocery store. We are all in the same boat so it was a way for all of us to connect and something to joke about. I had all these stories of adventures and challenges that I could not wait to share with others when I returned home.
Jess D., Glacier Bay National Park, 2017
The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”