Ranger Kathryn's Arches

August 9, 2009

Goodbyes are so hard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 4:15 pm

My days here are done.  Today I have given and received many hugs, fist bumps, and high fives.  “You’re one of the good ones,” Rob said as his goodbye.  “You are so fun to have around, and your positive energy adds a ton,” said Juliana (my supervisor).  “You’d better be back next summer.”

And so I will walk to my apartment, pack everything in boxes and bins, try to load Olive to the gills, go on a cleaning frenzy for check-out tomorrow morning.  And then I will have tears running down my cheeks all the way to the Colorado border.   I think this is appropriate as I conclude the most wondrous summer of my entire life.

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ADDENDUM.

Ranger Victoria spent my last day trying to compose the following poem (while tending to visitors’ needs, answering phones, etc).  She got on the PA system and stated to our visitors that she had a Very Important Announcement, and then pulled me out from the staff room and told everyone in the Vis Ctr that today was my last day and then read the following:

“Kathryn came to Arches in June/and when she did we said Wahoo/From Minnesota she is a teacher/But during the summer come to Arches to meet her/She teaches math and science and health/And in the summer she comes here to help/She calls it a hike, we call it a march/but she loves to go up to Delicate Arch/Ms Burke is a ranger the people can trust/she walks on the trails and not on the crust/she must come back next year, in the summer she must!/See, she is the object of all of our lust!/A rare event in the desert, it’s thanks to her we owe/When it rains here it pours with H2O/Now she must go back to school/but we sure will miss her since she’s so cool!”

The visitors stood in rapt attention during the reading of this epic, and applauded heartily at its end, which is when I blushed for the second time that day.  A young teacher approached me and asked how she, too, could become a ranger.  And that, my friends, was the most fitting “final visitor contact” I could have had.

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