My time at Tonto – Stephen Sanders

Looking back at my first week at Tonto National Monument, it seems hard to believe a week can be so dense with new information yet fly by so fast. I started my week shadowing other rangers trying to soak up as much information as possible about the area and the people who called it home 800 years ago. I’ve already had the opportunity to go to many interesting places around the park including washes, canyons, cliff tops, caves, and so much more, usually in the name of maintaining game cameras and other field equipment. When not in the field, I can often be found with my nose in a book, trying to learn as much as I can about the Salado culture that occupied the monument centuries ago, as one of my top concerns is representing their culture and way of life as authentically as possible.

With this first week under my belt, I can barely wait to really get into the meat of my project here at the monument. In the next couple weeks I will be working closely with the park staff to flesh out a plan for completing my project. Working with audio/video equipment is something that’s always come somewhat naturally to me, and to be able to finally do it in the context of the great outdoors is really a dream come true! I cannot wait to report more about my experience in the months to come in future blog posts, so stay tuned!

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