Clayton Steward is a Digital Communications student who is interning with The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota. He will be posting weekly blog updates to record his experience of learning documentary style story telling at a donor funded sanctuary for cats of all sizes.
After 9 hours, lots of farmland, a few PB&Js and a serious jam session, I arrived at the house I will call home for the rest of the summer.
I was instantly greeted by one of the lead interns who helped me bring some of my luggage in the house. I lucked out and ended up getting a room all to myself. Mainly because I am the only guy intern for this summer session. Oh well, I’ll suck it up I’m sure, haha.
The first day is always the most awkward, between learning names, figuring out each others patterns, and trying to conform to the rules (said and unsaid) within the house, but I have a good feeling that this will be a summer I won’t forget. And of course, trying to befriend the house cat, “Daisy”, somewhere along the way. There were some great conversations, laughter, and the forming of friendships before I called it a night.
The next day, I allowed myself to sleep in, but the excitement of possibilities had me at least awake by 6:00 or so. Something about the first morning when you wake up somewhere new sets the pace. Couldn’t have asked for a better sunrise to kickoff this portion of my journey.
I decided to live by ‘carpe diem’ and seize the day and start exploring right from the get go. I threw a couple of apples in my camera bag, filled up my water bottle and headed to the nearest state park on the map. After some confusion on my end on how to pay for the $7 parking fee (read directions FULLY), I got parked, strapped up my camera bag, grabbed a tripod and hit the first trail I saw.
I’ve been in a few different places, and the first time hiking a trail in a new state always has so much awe and energy to it. Camera in hand, six feet apart from my fellow hikers. It was such a stark reality from the world of a pandemic and so much civil unrest all over the country. The day before I was driving through Minneapolis seeing the ‘CURFEW BEGINS AT 8’ scattered throughout the city, and today I was propped up on a rock watching the Kettle River tumble down stream.
I snapped pics all along the way of the abandoned quarry and Minnesota fauna (see below), stopped to relax in the sun, wrote down a few thoughts and before long the trail had wrapped back around to the parking lot and the first Minnesota Mini-adventure was under my belt.
After a grocery run, editing a few pics, a much needed shower and a quick nap, it was time to meet with the Intern Liaison to go over some final things before starting the real deal at TWS tomorrow morning at 8:30 sharp! Which is much envied by my housemates who are all in Animal Care so their day starts an hour and a half earlier, but I digress until a later blog post about how much I have and yet to learn about the world of Animal Care.
I was asked how I felt about living in a house with seven women, to which I replied, “It will be an adventure”, and that is the mantra for the rest of the summer.
It will be an adventure.