Daniel Harvey from Liverpool recently returned from an unforgettable summer on Volunteer USA - AND solved one of life's mysteries! He tells us about his experience...
Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, Tijuana, the Rockies in Colorado and National Parks galore - not a bad way to spend your summer, right?
I solved one of life's great mysteries while I was in the USA. Where are the pictures for postcards taken? Now I know!
I volunteered in the USA this summer and was based in Flagstaff, Arizona, home of the historic Route 66. After a two hour drive in the backcountry we arrived at our campsite, complete with portaloos and running water- all you need for 8 days work!
I spent 8 weeks putting boundary and grazing fences up in the surroundings of picturesque national parks, and my first 2 projects were at the Grand Canyon! We had a view across the whole of the canyon, from the non-tourist-packed side. Our first assignment was putting up small sections of fence along the dirt road to stop people in 4x4s and ATVs from travelling down the hiking trails and ruining them, which is absolutely essential if people are to enjoy the national parks how they should be enjoyed.
Our next project was putting up a boundary fence at the edge of the park to stop cattle on the other side from wandering in and grazing. Each morning started with a small hike up the fence line to the top of Mount Dellenbaugh, which gave us a view straight across the canyon - definitely a better view than that of busy, congested roads in Liverpool!
What was to be my final project was in Zion National Park, one of the US' s most popular parks with over 2 and a half million visitors each year. Our job? To put up a fence that, again, was to keep out a neighbour's cattle, conserving the park for even more people to enjoy. This project afforded breathtaking views across the park, views that my words cannot do justice to!
I will never forget my time it Arizona and I have already enquired about going back next year...only for longer this time!
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