Political science Ph.D. student, outdoor enthusiast, aspiring AT/PCT thru-hiker. My outdoor interests began in the Smokies and have subsequently been cultivated in Norway, North Carolina, and Vermont. Skål!
The outdoors is a bipartisan space. Despite their differences, hunters and hikers alike agree that we need wild lands and wild spaces, and that these should be preserved for future generations. In an increasingly polarizing political climate, perhaps the outdoor arena is one that could help maintain and repair our delicate social fabric.
First, imagine working a full-time, minimum-wage job. Then, add rain – so much that everything you own gets wet and stays wet for days on end. Add backbreaking labor, knee-deep mud, and dangerous tools. The result? A trail maintenance job, aka the most wonderful/awful job around.