Odysseys

 

I have had the good fortune to cross paths recently with journeymen and women of all sorts. Whether in pursuit of knowledge or for sheer adventure, CC students and their friends scatter to all corners of the globe.

Two frisbee teammates, Sophie Herscu (’11) and Hannah Sohl (’11), were both awarded Watson Fellowships to undertake twelve-month-long research projects outside of the US. As outlined on the Watson website (The Watson Fellowship: Our Fellows), Sophie will be traveling to Montreal, Nunavik, Australia, and Brazil to study the empowering effects of social circus groups. Hannah is headed for Canada, Bolivia, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Mongolia, and Laos, where she’ll be studying the relationship between local communities and their riverine ecosystems.

Somewhere in Russia, three more 2011 grads are making their way steadily around the world on a transcontinental roadtrip. After brainstorming about the trip for years, Jack Naito, Ezra Siegel, and Richard Swift successfully arranged to purchase a car in Japan and start on a journey they’re calling “The Road is West: Japan to Alaska, the Long Way.” If all is going well, they should be on their way into Mongolia to start work with the Tributary Fund before continuing across to Europe.

Closer to home, the State of the Rockies summer researchers embarked a few days ago on a survey of the Colorado River Basin (State of the Rockies Blog). Along the way, they’re taking every opportunity to interview policymakers, hydrologists, farmers, naturalists, and recreational river users in order to better understand the dynamic life of the river that sustains human life in the arid West. In conjunction with that research, a few recent CC grads will be documenting their aquatic traverse of the Green and Colorado Rivers:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV_AoKRrF2M[/youtube]

 

Another river system far to the north drew in two more intrepid travelers. Through a CC friend, I met two St. Olaf graduates who are attempting to become the first women to paddle from Minneapolis to the Hudson Bay. They’ve been on the water since the beginning of June and are documenting their progress on their blog (Hudson Bay Bound | Home). Keep up the great work, Ann and Natalie!

Being surrounded by such adventurous folk, it’s hard to escape the contagious spirit. So, with the help of the Ritt Kellogg Fund, Lauren Foster (’11), Lucy Holtsnider (’11), McKenzie Wooley (’12) and I are headed to the Gallatin Range in Montana for a two-week horsepacking trip in August. After renting horses from Montana Horses at the Mantle Ranch in Three Forks, we will be making our way through the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, northwest of Yellowstone. Aside from getting to explore a beautiful stretch of backcountry, the four of us Hardy Horsewomen are looking forward to spending time together before we scatter to new homes and jobs in the next year.

So pretty soon I’ll be packing up my cowboy boots, bear spray, and Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie (a gift from my mother) to breathe for a moment between busy summer and hectic school year. In the meantime, I’ll be scheming about how to next get back in the saddle, launch from the shore, or put wheels to the pavement. Best of luck to my fellow wanderers – we’ll trade stories at the crossroads.