This is a slight dramatization. Any likeness of any person hopefully alive is not coincidental you should be happy you have the pleasure of knowing them.
Day 1: We decide to do the initial trip by vehicle as amphibious plane was deemed too expensive for the short 2 hour trip to the vast wilderness of Pymatuning. On arrival we were observed other travelers had already assembled into their social groups and were chatting away while the greeting natives were quite hospitable.
Day 2: We integrated with the groups surprisingly well, laughing in great bouts over all of our past travels. The bunk houses were very lush for such a remote location, even featuring indoor latrines and running water! Our wilderness guide Dr. Townsend was very skilled and prepared us well before our journey deep into the old growth forest.
Week 1: So much was learned about the ecosystems of the area and the plants animals and fungi that inhabit it. We are beginning to form ideas for our groundbreaking research of the many mysteries of these Western Pennsylvania woods. I trudged up the middle of a creek taking GPS data climbing over and under fallen trees and through thick bush in the misty understory. Ended that day soaked from head to toe breathing heavy but with a smile. I was enveloped in all of the great things that can be done as a biologist.
Week 2: This second week in has gone by so quickly. The chow in the mess hall has kept my stomach full and happy. The wonderful woman in the kitchen even made me a cake for my birthday! Our research has begun and is going quite well, the wild salamanders and frogs are around every corner awaiting identification. Soils samples were taken to figure out what the soil that supports this varied life was made of. Dr Townsend even spotted the very rare forest woodchuck that could eat 361 cubic centimeters of wood a day, if woodchucks could chuck wood, that is.
To be Continued…