When Micah Nash applied for a 15-day work project with the Siskiyou Mountain Club in 2013, he was hoping to earn a scholarship for college.
By the end of the year he had a job.
"Even when things on the trail were stressful, Micah kept a good attitude," says SMC executive director Gabe Howe. "From the beginning Micah showed promise. He was eager to learn. He adapted well and motivated the group."
A lot of Nash's free time throughout high-school was spent playing video games.
"I was playing video games up to 30-40 hours a week," Nash said while working on the rugged banks of the Chetco River in July, miles away from the nearest electronic device. "But I don't miss them," he said.
Nash excelled on his Kalmiopsis project and came back for more 2013 trips. In all he spent over 20-nights out on the trail.
Now he's on the SMC payroll, making a wage for work on the Pilot Rock Re-Route, a project funding by the Medford Bureau of Land Management. He got his first paycheck December 10.
He says he appreciates having some money around the holidays. "I haven't been able to buy anything in the past. So I'm taking my mom and my brother to the movies for Christmas," he says.
Nash is a freshman at Southern Oregon University with some offset to the ever-rising cost of education.
And so far he hasn't had to take out any loans. "We'll see what I get for scholarships in 2014," he says.
Fall term was his first in a college environment, and Nash did well, earning himself a 3.42 GPA.
|Nash (right) gets ready to buck another log|
In 2013 he hiked over 45-miles with the Club. And he summited Mt. McLaughlin (9,495') with a family friend. "That's not something I would have done before," he says.
When not on the trail or studying, Nash enjoys using his computer skills to create music. He's hoping to stay out of the oppressive levels of college debt that much of his generation faces.
"I'd like to keeping working in 2014," he says.