Monday, July 23, 2007

Club Fed has no pool

That's what they call this training center I'm visiting. And, after getting past the security guy with a gun strapped to his thigh, I searched everywhere for a pool. But I finally found an unmarked dirt trail that led down to the river. No one else was there but a great blue heron. Oh, and these two:

It's officially called the National Conservation Training Center. I'm a guest of Mr. D.Q., who's here with a bunch of Wildlife Refuge managers and leaders of their associated "friend's groups." It's outside Sheperdstown, WV (near Harper's Ferry). Beautiful place, deer everywhere. And they're really into conservation and recycling and gorgeous rugs and mission furniture and photos of every conservationist you haven't heard of.

I'm in Aldo Leopold lodge. (He founded the Wilderness Society, which is why there is the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, among others.) There are a lot of Ranger Ricks and Ritas here but I like the guy that drove from California, because he gets stripped every time he flies. He had a Fish and Wildlife Service badge on one shoulder of his cami jacket and an Earth First (no compromise) badge on the other.

And there's great food here. But the trail to the river is not only unmarked and even hidden. Of course, the deer probably appreciate that. And perhaps that's what it's all about.

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