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[[ Read Epub ]] ⚸ Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods ì A lively and lyrical account of one woman s unlikely apprenticeship on a national park trail crew and what she discovers about nature, gender, and the value of hard work Christine Byl first encountered the national parks the way most of us do on vacation But after she graduated from college, broke and ready for a new challenge, she joined a Glacier National Park trail crew as a seasonal traildog maintaining mountain trails for the millions of visitors Glacier draws every year Byl first thought of the job as a paycheck, a summer diversion, a welcome break from the real world before going on to graduate school She came to find out that work in the woods on a trail crew was demanding, rewarding real than she ever imagined During her first season, Byl embraces the backbreaking difficulty of the work, learning how to clear trees, move boulders, and build stairs in the backcountry Her first mentors are the colorful characters with whom she works the packers, sawyers, and traildogs from all walks of life along with the tools in her hands axe, shovel, chainsaw, rock bar As she invests herself deeply in new work, the mountains, rivers, animals, and weather become teachers as well While Byl expected that her tenure at the parks would be temporary, she ends up turning this summer gig into a decades long job, moving from Montana to Alaska, breaking expectations including her own that she would follow a professional career path Returning season after season, she eventually leads her own crews, mentoring other trail dogs along the way In Dirt Work, Byl probes common assumptions about the division between mental and physical labor, women s work and men s work, white collars and blue collars The supposedly simple work of digging holes, dropping trees, and blasting snowdrifts in fact offers her an education of the hands and the head, as well as membership in an utterly unique subculture Dirt Work is a contemplative but unsentimental look at the pleasures of labor, the challenges of apprenticeship, and the way a place becomes a home I am tempted to run through a thread of adjectives describing how much I enjoyed this book, but I ll settle for wonderful Reading it was a wonderful experience As a fan and frequent visitor to many National Parks including Glacier, which is featured here it was a real joy to read about the behind the scenes life of a TrailDog A true slice of life.Obviously written by a woman who has lived and experienced the true outdoor life, a woman who has found love and appreciation among the tree I am tempted to run through a thread of adjectives describing how much I enjoyed this book, but I ll settle for wonderful Reading it was a wonderful experience As a fan and frequent visitor to many National Parks including Glacier, which is featured here it was a real joy to read about the behind the scenes life of a TrailDog A true slice of life.Obviously written by a woman who has lived and experienced the true outdoor life, a woman who has found love and appreciation among the trees and logging roads this book grabbed me from the introduction and never let go.Any book that can describe the beauty of our National Parks back country and the poetry in swinging an axe is an instant classic for me and this book does just that I strongly recommend this book my only complaint was that I wish it were longer, I wish I could keep reading and enjoying the cadence and words of this author If you have any kind of affinity for the outdoors, for our National Parks, then you won t regret a single second spent reading this title Contemplative and funny, bawdy and smart, lyrical and lovely, this book is one of a kind As a traildog myself, I can honestly say I never imagined I would read a book about my particular subculture, especially not one that gets it so exactly right From backcountry anecdotes from the collective canon to riffs on food, boots, weather, wildlife, and, of course, tools, it is all here Byl captures perfectly the camaraderie, drudgery, and delight of life working in the wild mountains, on a crew, do Contemplative and funny, bawdy and smart, lyrical and lovely, this book is one of a kind As a traildog myself, I can honestly say I never imagined I would read a book about my particular subculture, especially not one that gets it so exactly right From backcountry anecdotes from the collective canon to riffs on food, boots, weather, wildlife, and, of course, tools, it is all here Byl captures perfectly the camaraderie, drudgery, and delight of life working in the wild mountains, on a crew, doing trailwork.The unusual and original structure of this fantastic book might feel foreign to some expecting a continuous linear narrative, but I find it perfectly captures the experience of learning to know and love a place, as well as balancing two orworlds as part of a seasonal workforce.As entertaining as Byl s storytelling is, this is no casual traipse through the lilies of the field Dirt Work gets at the heart of what it takes to live an authentic life Byl s narrative is ripe with hard questions, real seeking, and refreshingly honest, clear eyed thinking instead of tired platitudes about gender, labor, apprenticeship, self sufficiency, wilderness, spiritual practice, and community I loved it Being in the woods with Christine and learning how those trails that I love so much, are made and maintained was very interesting I loved to read how she got along with her mostly male coworkers and how life as a seasonal worker in general is.What I did not like was the writing style It made it very hard for me to read for an extended period of time and not trying to skip a few paragraphs here and there a thing that I normally not even consider. I ve often wondered how people end up choosing a life that embraces the outdoors I grew up loving the outdoors then slowly becameof an indoor person as my education and career kept me locked up inside It never would have entered my mind to look for a job in a state park Now, twenty years later as I face trying to finally figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life, I wish I had.Christine Byl and her eventual husband, Gabe, took jobs with the National Park Service in Glacier Na I ve often wondered how people end up choosing a life that embraces the outdoors I grew up loving the outdoors then slowly becameof an indoor person as my education and career kept me locked up inside It never would have entered my mind to look for a job in a state park Now, twenty years later as I face trying to finally figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life, I wish I had.Christine Byl and her eventual husband, Gabe, took jobs with the National Park Service in Glacier National Park The job is a tough one and one I didn t even know existed as it involves clearing and maintaining the trails that millions of visitors use every year Building steps into the terrain They do that Fixing natural bridges They do that Many will think that this is a woman in a man s world Men still dominate the profession, butandwomen are choosing to take on these seasonal jobs The schedule is 8 days on, 6 days off I would LOVE that I wouldn t mind having my hiney handed to me for 8 days, knowing that I would soon have 6 off to recuperate and enjoy my surroundings In time, Christine matriculates to the University of Alaska Anchorage and takes an outdoors job up there as well I loved how the book was organized and how she described each tool used in her job It made it so accessible to those of us who don t know the difference between a bulldozer and a Bobcat The machine kind of Bobcat I know what the animal one is.Completely enjoyable Highly recommend