"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

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Troops

The troops drug themselves into work while I had the day off. We did manage to gain 1 new employee who came in today. We started off the season short when 3 people didn't show up and 1 quit on the first day. Though it is incredibly busy and there have been some technical difficulties I am enjoying it.

I started the day by going to Fishing Bridge to check out the Bargain Loft in their Yellowstone General Store. Awesome deals. Then I went over Dunraven Pass and over to Lamar Valley. It was so busy there that I only drove half way through and turned back. Carl had told me this morning that he was going fishing by the bridge over the Yellowstone River by Tower Junction so I found his truck in a turnout (right after I saw a Big Horn Sheep (a big ram) right by the side of the road). I took his picture from the bridge and then hiked down to the edge of the river and ate my lunch with him.

The river is moving fast and full of rapids. During my lunch I heard some honking and looked into the middle of the river and saw a Canadian goose floating through the rapids while managing to to keep her brood of fuzzy little goslings together. They were really being tossed by the waves.

Hayden Valley was pretty empty tonight. Just a few bison laying around and some herds of elk in the distance. The winter of 2008 was very hard on the bison herds. 1,700 left the park and headed into West Yellowstone and were immediately rounded up and sent for slaughter. That spring the park service then did aerial surveillance to count the bison and had found that 1,000 had starved to death. 2,700 is a lot of bison to lose in one winter and it will take a few years to build the herds back up.