That time I went to Lady Gaga…

(posted August 23, 2010)

what a week! SOLV has kept me busy during my first full week as an employee.. i’m not complaining about the serious amount of time spent outdoors!  i met meghan, head of green team, on monday and worked with her quite extensively all week.  among other things, we had a meeting on wednesday at willow creek, a site i will be working at, with Oregon Fish and Wildlife to discuss the potential areas at the site for native turtle habitat.  western painted turtles in the region are threatened because of the extensive number of cases in which people release pet turtles into the wild.  (mostly red eared sliders, these invasive turtles threaten habitat for natives.)

we also had stream team captain training this week in portland at Metro, a regional government very focused on sustainability.  a very cool and refreshing way to decide on state initiatives!  stream team captains have 12 hours of training and once they are finished learning about local watersheds, the proper way to plant native plants and local invasive species, they have the opportunity to lead their own tree plantings on saturdays through the planting season of october through march.  we had training on tuesday and thursday nights as well as all day saturday.  miles and i were allowed to take the SOLV ford ranger to trainings, riding in style!

on thursday night, i was in for a major surprise.  my coworker mentioned she was going to the lady gaga concert following the training session and i told her how much of a fan i was.  at the break, she told me she got me a free ticket since her friend had suite seats.  needless to say, i was stunned and overwhelmed and excited beyond belief!  we met up with her friend and caught the last hour of the concert at the rosegarden.  the show was unbelievable. the gorgeous costumes, her connection with her fans and the pure energy and love in the arena was felt by all “little monsters.”  when lady gaga began talking about religion and love for humanity, she boldly declared that “tonight, my religion is portland!” the crowd went wild and a surge of energy buzzed through all us fans as she danced and sang her heart out for the rest of the night.

after a long night of singing and dancing, it was back to work on friday but we were out in the field all day touring sites that miles will be working on.  we were able to see some really great places that are in need of real restoration.  at the first site we were pleasantly surprised to see an amazing amount of animal tracks, including what we think might be a cougar!  a great day of plant identification and getting a feel for what we will be doing all year… stopped for lunch at mcmeniman’s edgefield, one of many mcmeniman’s pubs and venues, which are older buildings restored and renovated for new use as opposed to being bulldozed and made into shopping centers.  most brew their own beer, edgefield does this as well as making their own wine and hosting concerts by bands like modest mouse and death cab for cutie.

saturday was another day in the field with stream team captain training.  we went to a great native plant nursery called bosky dell, run by a wonderful woman named lori who has a passion for native plants and a story for each one.  we continued onto rinearson creek and finished at goat island, where we coordinated a tree planting to acquaint all the new stream team captains with handling trees and new terrain.  after the training finished, i headed into portland to meet up with some housemates at the Alberta Street Fair.  there were a plethora of fantastic vendors and it was great to see so many different types of people there, all enjoying the summer day and the great atmosphere.  its one of the things i have already come to love about portland; no matter who you are or what you might look like, there’s a place for you here.

the week ended with a 12 mile hike coordinated by a friend of one of our housemates at eagle creek.  it had been a long week and i wasn’t sure i was up for 12 miles but i’m so glad i went.  the scenery was unreal, we were truly in the midst of majestic trees and amazing wildlife.  we saw no less than 5 fantastic waterfalls and though i haven’t quite conquered my fear of heights, i was in awe and bewilderment at the sheer scale of the mountainsides (and the narrow pathways!)

had today off and biked to goodwill with miles and sean, no easy feat.  we grabbed some great vhs’ (since we DO indeed have a vcr!) and stopped in for some coffee on the way home.  still enjoying the great weather though the mornings can be quite cold.. hoping to update more often as always! much love from the douglas fir state!


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