Everything has happened so fast. Last week, I graduated from Syracuse University and now I am sitting on a porch watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. I am a city girl born and raised in New Jersey, 40 minutes outside New York City, and I have never been to the West Coast until now. Honestly, the biggest shock was first the density of trees, then the lack of street lights. This is a big change for me, as much as it is exciting, I am terrified.

Tunnel before Fort Columbia State Park

Driving along the Oregon- Washington border, the mountains tower over with trees hugging the road. The Columbia River glistens as it runs along the Lewis and Clark Trail Highway. The view is not only beautiful but a reminder that, just as this river has evolved and shaped the landscape, I can do the same. I am as resilient as the pines stand tall. I am as ever-changing as the gollies along the riverbed. I am as strong as the waves that crash on the rocky coast. This is not only my time to adapt, this is a time for everyone to adapt and change with our landscape. Tomorrow begins a new journey and I am running toward it, leaping into it with full force. 

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Written by Kayla Fermin
I am a recent graduate of Syracuse University, where I studied Geography and Religion. I am now working as a biological technician intern in the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Astoria, Oregon. Follow my adventures!