Rose: Hey ladies! I’m so excited to have you as interns this summer! Ella and Kimberly – tell me what you’re doing with the Friends this summer.
Ella: As the Backcountry Ranger Intern this summer, I get to work with both the US Forest Service and the Friends. I’ll be working on a trail crew, as a wilderness ranger, a trail ambassador, and helping with community outreach events.
Kimberly: I managed to get myself into a special wilderness internship this summer with you this summer. You usually don’t accept high school students into the program, but I applied anyway and here I am! I’ll be doing an abbreviated version of the internship program, kind of like what Ella is doing, but on a smaller scale. I get to clear trails, help with community work, co-lead hikes, and act as a trail ambassador on Scotchman Peak.
RO: It sounds like it’s going to be an amazing summer. What are you most excited about doing?
EB: Hiking as a job, obviously! I’m also new to the area and getting to experience this environment in such an immersive way is really cool.
KY: I am most excited for my trail ambassador days because it sounds like a perfect job for me. You get to hike a gorgeous hike and talk to people while you do it. That’s awesome. The trail ambassador also helps me figure out if this is the right field I want to go into for becoming an outdoor guide.
RO: Nice, I’m excited about getting some hiking miles in too and seeing plenty of wild mountain goats this summer. Ella – you’re attending Gonzaga, right? What are you studying?
EB: I’m a rising junior at Gonzaga and I’m majoring in environmental studies with a writing and sustainable business minor. I’m also on the women’s rowing team which has made my time here really special, because the community it gives me is so strong and supportive. So I’ve been loving it up here so far, and this is actually my first summer not going home to Hawaii.
RO: Wow, Hawaii seems like a really special place to grow up. What do you miss/love most about home?
EB: Yeah I’m very grateful to have grown up there, it’s truly a special place. I definitely miss and love my family a lot, they’re a wonderful group of adventurers like myself. I also really miss the ocean, both being in it and just near it.
RO: I’m going to have to get in touch with you if (when) I ever visit. Kimberly, like you said earlier this is the first time we’ve ever had a high school intern. I’d love to hear a little more about you!
KY: I am very excited and honored to be the first high school intern. I have been backpacking since I was very young, probably about 4 or 5 years old. My family has a tradition of doing a week long backpacking trip every year which was an amazing experience every time. We got to visit so many cool mountain ranges like the Cascades and Sawtooths. I also play soccer and am going to be in Ohio for nationals this summer.
RO: Nice, you are primed for big hikes with those strong soccer legs. What do you plan on studying at school in the fall?
KY: In the fall I plan to study either environmental science or kinesiology at Spokane Falls Community College.
RO: I love that. Okay, now we have a few serious questions… What is your favorite hiking snack?
EB: Chocolate granola bars are a classic but sometimes fruit snacks are the best!
KY: Trail mix with lots of peanut m&ms!
RO: My favorite hiking snacks right now are green olives and the Bobo’s apple pie bites. So good! Although, one time I packed a plain boiled potato wrapped in foil as a hiking snack to eat with salt and it was surprisingly satisfying… I don’t know if I’ll do that again unless I have to? But it was good. Okay, next serious question – What is your favorite brand of hiking sock?
EB: Smartwool for sure.
KY: I like Icebreaker or Smartwool
RO: Smartwools are good, but I’ve become a Darn Tough gal through and through. You can’t beat that lifetime warranty. Alright, final question today… Would you rather – hike four miles in wet jeans, or hike four miles barefoot?
EB: Definitely four miles barefoot!
KY: I would pick four miles of barefoot because the wet jeans are heavy, stiff and hot once the water dries on them. Plus your feet can just get used to the rough ground.
RO: Yep, same. Maybe that one was too easy… Well, thank you so much for your time and I’m so excited to work with you both this summer!