Saturday, June 19, 2010

Seward DOT

It's Saturday after our first week of work and we have had an awesome time so far! We traveled down to Seward for a Department of Transportation (DOT) project. We worked along the Seward highway clearing brush from under and around gaurdrails. This work is important for a few reasons. First of all, it's important to clear the line of sight around tight blind corners so that cars have more time to see any obsticals in the road (accidents, animals, etc). Second, animals are everywhere and the more distance between the road and the brush means the animals are more visible for drivers and they will have more time to slow down and avoid hitting those animals. Lastly, the Seward highway is a gorgeous drive and is a designated Scenic Byway. We cleared an entire forest of Alder trees to open up a view of Kenai Lake for tourists and locals to enjoy as they drive past. This part of the project was so rewarding because shortly after we cleared an opening to the lake, some tourists pulled over to the side of the road to check out some moose near the lake. If it wasnt for our work, they wouldn't have been able to enjoy that beautifulview of the lake and moose.

Working with teenagers has been such a blast. They are so hilarious and make me laugh all the time! After just one week I have already grown to love each one of them and I'm so excited to spend the rest of the summer getting to know them even more.

The youth crews making smores during their training week.

A baby musk ox and its mom at Alaska's Wildlife Conservation Center
Never in my life would I have predicted myself to be wearing a hardhat, a reflective vest, and a face mask, working on the side of the highway with a bunch of teenagers. It sure is a blast though!! This is me using a brusher (a weedwacker on steriods) on our DOT project. Power tools are pretty fun!!
Two crew members and I decided to see if it was possible to stuff 100 M&M's in your mouth at once. Chris succeeded but Kellen (pictured) and I had to chew a little before the last ones would fit.  
The view of Kenai Lake that we opened up. You wouldn't have even known a lake was there before we started the project.
Meet the Barrell of Monkeys, the best Serve Alaska Youth Corps Crew ever!!
We took at trip to Seward's Sealife Center and I finally got to see puffins!!! Such crazy birds!!

A fur seal at the Sealife Center
Sea otters may be my new favorite animal. They are SOO awesome! We got to watch them swim and play in the water everyday on the drive to and from work.


KMarie said...

If i was an animal, I would probably be a sea otter. That's probably why you like me and them so much, we are the same! Kisses!

Evan said...

Hey look, you can see Russia from the highway now. Nice work!

John Haley said...

I ate a muscox stroganoff once in the yukon -- but I never got to see one. That's so awesome. I can't believe all the stuff and animals you've seen.