The Spark

What inspires you?

Where does your inspiration come from?

What is the result of this inspiration?

I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration today. Mostly because I feel a bit overwhelmed. So many things have inspired me lately. For knitting projects, for road trips, for meals, for future projects in the parks I work in, and for career goals.

At the moment, one of my tasks at work is to create a history-based snowshoe hike to be given at the upcoming Winterfest event here in Denali at the end of February. The hard part? This time of year, most of the historic sites around the Denali front country are covered in snow. Most are not even visible without significant shoveling.

I thought I was going to have to use a canned program for this hike – an outline created by one of the summer rangers. But this really didn’t fit, since I cannot physically get at some of the ‘props’.

But after watching the late David Larsen’s “Gun Talk”, I am inspired in another direction. I’m going to base my entire program on a single historic object: a steel trap used in the 1800’s and 1900’s used to ensnare animals.

How can a steel trap be the symbolic relic of a park? I’ll post my entire write-up in an entry later this week. For now, you can leave comments about what that trap might conjure up in your mind. How do those mental images make you feel?

Based purely on numbers, it would seem we had a busy day here at the MSLC. But really, we had a huge tour group come through this morning and it’s been relatively quiet ever since. I’ve spent a couple of hours watching videos, programs and interviews with David Larsen on (of all places) YouTube. He’s said a lot of thought-provoking things and given me quite a bit of inspiration for my history program.

When he died (way too young) last month, the National Park Service lost a great modern leader. He will continue to inspire those who take the time to listen.


2 thoughts on “The Spark

  1. The steel trap makes me think of the fur trade, trappers, the native people and how it may have effected their lives. I can see it working for a program. Keep up the good work. As for inspiration, it comes from many places for me. Books, movies, radio commentary, a squirrel foraging in my backyard and even working on a knitting project.

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