Unexpected Adventure

Throughout this Internship there have been many occasions when unexpected situations have come up or the day that we did have planned was much different than I imagined.

One specific day that stands out to me is the day that the officer I work with and myself drove an hour south of Moab, Utah to assist another Forest service officer with a disturbance of a Native American artifact burial site. Prior to going, I did not know what the day would entail besides we were going in to investigate a disturbance with a few other officers.

Once we arrived we were briefed on what the day would hold and got to meet the other officers and Rangers we would be going in with. We loaded up the gear on the side by side and rode for a solid hour to an undisclosed location in the Manti-La-Sal national forest, without any markings showing that it was a trailhead or entry point. Once we got to where we needed to, we left the side by side and hiked in on foot to the location where there was a disturbance found by some of the archeologists in the forest. Since this was an ongoing investigation, we had to be very particular where we stepped and what we touched to not ruin any potential evidence. They had me assist them by writing the photo log for evidence, which I found to be very interesting and exciting. This was my first experience doing anything with Native American artifacts and could not have had a better experience.

After all the evidence was collected and photo logged, we hiked back to the side by side and rode back to our original starting locations. It felt great to help out with investigation that was a part of preserving cultural artifacts and to be able to work with great people. I did not plan or know what to think when the day started, but ended up being one of the best days of this internship for me.- Nate Muniz

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