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September 18, 2013

And Then the Summer Ended...

And-then-the-summer-endedSunrise over the Colorado Rockies. Photo by Daniel Cespedes.

By Izzy Weisz, Sierra Club Youth Ambassador

The Best Internship on Earth is just about done, and I still find myself asking the same question I asked after my very first day on the job: is this real life?

There are so many cool parts of this internship it's a little absurd.

What are the highlights of the summer? What AREN'T the highlights of the summer is a better question. Delays, and babies on planes. But that's what you get when you sign up to travel the country for 10 weeks, and if that's the price, I'm happy to pay it.

I'm tempted to turn this last blog post into a faux Academy Award winning speech and thank every single person who's helped us, until theoretical music begins to play and you click the red x button on this browser. I'll settle for saying that there are so many cool peeps involved in the Sierra Club, one way or another, and they made my summer. Hats off to all of you.

Anyway, back to the highlights. I'll give the obvious ones first, like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time and then hiking down into it, being a part of the Havasupai ceremony, literally camping in Chicago, being licked/kissed by wolves in Colorado, watching the sunset over the Sierra Nevada in Sequoia National Park.

I'd bet good money that the brightest shooting star was seen by us Best Interns in Lassen National Park. Rockin' out to Ben Folds Five with the city of Philly in the distance wasn't bad, either. But now I'm repeating myself from other blog posts.

There were the in-between moments, too, the turning points, the long hours posted up at the airport during delays, the lesson learned that it's more about the journey than the destination. Backpacking in Sequoia really brought that point home. The delirium from being on the road, and getting into SFO at 2am only to turn around and catch a train at 8am the next morning, brought Daniel and me many laughs along the way.

Let's not forget Mother Nature's role in this experience, too. Mountains take the cake, closely followed by volcanic craters, dramatic valleys, and last but not least, city parks.

Weather should get some recognition. Yo summer heat, thanks for making a grand appearance. We owe our sweat-drenched clothes in DC to you; much love.

And then there's the Sierra Club, and what it's all about. I think they did a pretty good job summing it up when they created the motto "Enjoy, Explore, and Protect the Planet." We got to experience all three, with a heavy emphasis on explore. If only I could spend my entire life being the Best Intern on Earth, I'd be an eternally happy camper.

I just realized no one ever ate a bug. To next years' Best Intern(s), I triple dog dare you to do this.


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