Send Me On My Way!

Hello hello! This is Nair Perez-Torres, checking in.

This summer I am interning at Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District, as an Interpretive Intern! This means I will be doing interpretive talks, creating programs, roving trails, providing service, and answering questions for visitors. I will also be creating presentations to present at the local Moab museum, as well as participating in outreach events, such as the Annual Utah AstroFest event!

One thing about me is that I love being outside in nature. I am originally from the Pacific Northwest, which means many of my summers and school breaks consisted of camping, hiking, and exploring the great outdoors. I had the privilege of having a mother who has a deep-rooted passion in nature, so growing up, I’ve seen quite a few national parks.

Me at Green River Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, 2012. 

I visited Canyonlands circa 11 years ago, when I was about nine or ten years old. All I remember from my trip to Southeast Utah was Delicate Arch, over at Arches National Park. Nonetheless, visiting Canyonlands is a blast from the past, and visiting again a decade later only makes me appreciate the incredible scenery a million times more. I feel very lucky to be present here and to contribute to the NPS. Once I got notified that I was accepted for this position, I seriously jumped for joy. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was working my office job, writing articles and checking emails, when I received that fateful email from the Latino Heritage Internship Program— I was accepted!

From there, I counted down the days until I would find myself in Utah. Before I knew it, I was leaving my small apartment in Tallahassee, FL. I filled my car up to the brim with my necessities (and perhaps a couple of things that weren’t quite necessary), and I journeyed all the way from Florida to Utah.

My first stop was in Tennessee, and I stayed there for about a week. Luckily, my mother lives in Tennessee, so I spent most of this time relaxing and raving about how excited I was to live in a national park. Before long, I had to say goodbye to my mother, but she didn’t let me go without ensuring I was stocked up on food and comfortable clothes for the Utah heat (Mami, if you’re reading this, thank you!).

From Tennessee, I drove to Kansas City, MO. This drive was a genuine blur for me. Unfortunately, my car does not have cruise control, so you can imagine what it must be like to keep your foot on the gas pedal for eight hours straight. My next stop was Denver, CO. I absolutely loved Colorado. Finally being able to see a mountain range reminded me of my hometown of Portland, where Mt. Hood is visible from the city. (FYI, Florida is incredibly flat. No mountains there!) My father met me in Colorado and agreed to drive the remaining seven hours to Moab, UT. And before I knew it, I was at the Canyonlands National Park visitors center, greeting my coworkers and getting familiar with housing.

Canyonlands is beautiful. It’s almost like Mars on Earth. I am so happy to be here and I’m excited for all the experiences this place has to offer. I’m very blessed to call Canyonlands my home for the next three months. This is just the beginning of a fabulous adventure I’m ready to pursue.

1 Comment
  • Jannella Perez Torres
    Posted at 17:45h, 01 June

    Cute photo, Nair! We love to hear it and read it. Super proud of you! Looking forward to the blogs that tell us to wear sunscreen haha!

    P.S. yeah…my car does not have cruise control anymore either LOL! What doesn’t kill you makes your right foot stronger!!

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