Hasta Luego Great Falls Tavern

As my time as a “LHIPster” comes to a close, I think it is important to take a look back on all of the unique experiences and enriching opportunities that I have had throughout the past 10 weeks.

Great Falls Overlook Trail

So with that, my first take away from this internship program is learning about a place that has been less than 10 miles away from my house practically all of my life; yet I never fully understood the stories of the lock keepers and families on the boat that created this part of American history, until now. This history is something that I can pass on to others in efforts to teach and encourage them to get out to the C&O Canal and experience this history first hand. My second take away–and something that I most likely would not have learned without this experience–is knowledge about the care and maintenance of mules.

Mules: Eva, Lil, and Dolly

As you can imagine, this part of my internship has probably been the most amusing. Everything from learning how to spot symptoms of colic, to learning how to groom and feed them, to the not so glamorous job of picking their pens, to being nuzzled by my favorite mule Eva. And although this is not a skill I will necessarily need in future career endeavors it was still fun to interact with the mules.   My last take away is getting the chance to work side-by-side and collaborate with some really cool people. All of my interactions with my close co-workers, other Park Rangers, other “LHIPsters”, park volunteers, and friends of the C&O Canal have made this experience all the more enjoyable. My relationships with them will continue on past the conclusion of my internship and serve as fruitful connections for the future. 

Luna Moth Caterpillar

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