"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Carl asked if I wanted to spend the day searching for animals with him. I gladly accepted. Carl is quite possibly the most incredibly interesting person I have ever met. He retired 6 years ago (he worked in Boulder, CO doing mathematics) and has worked in the park ever since. He has scaled peaks all over the country (he holds a record in Rocky Mountain National Park for the first decent of the north side of a mountain) as well as Devil's Tower (3 times). He wowed me with tales of his close encounters with grizzly and black bears in the park ~ in 34 years visiting YNP he didn't have an encounter until 3 years ago and now carries bear spray whenever he hikes.

The road from Canyon to Lake was closed this morning for 3 days due to a pipe breaking under the road somewhere. So we headed off to Lamar. With 2 more grizzly sightings and 1 wolf sighting under our belts he took me on my very first every hike in YNP. We hiked the Trout Lake Trail which led to a small mountain lake called, you guessed it, Trout Lake. After a lunch of sandwiches and a banana we hiked around the lake.

After the hike we drove up to Tower and watched a female bighorn sheep as it stood on the rock wall next to the road.

Luke, Jeannie, Carl and I spent the evening playing a game of Hearts. Tomorrow I'm back to work. The park is beginning to get busy. This weekend will be the start of the summer season and I'm sure the store will be hustling and bustling until after Labor Day.

The power goes out on a regular basis here. Sometimes it just flickers off and on and sometimes it can go out for hours. We work through it all. The park rangers have informed the residents of Canyon Village to be careful because of the grizzly bears and wolves wandering through the area. I'm always very careful when I leave the rec. room to head back to the dorms after dark. It's all an adventure, I just don't want to be ripped to shreds during the adventure.