"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, July 27, 2009

Bison & Elk By the Dorms

After quite a few days of frustration I finally was able to load and update my blog. Success!!

My wildlife sightings have been close and numerous. The bison and elk by the dorms have been creating quite a stir. The bull elk likes to lay down and chew his cud in the trees behind the dorm but the tourists seem to find him still. Cars and people swarm the dorm and snap pictures. Linda even once shouted out her window for people to get away from him. Good for her as they were about 5 feet from him and his huge rack.

I managed to find myself in the worst bear jam ever. Just north of Chittenden Road cars had stopped in both lanes with only 1 skinny path between them when a grizzly roamed the hillside. For anyone who has ever been on this road knows that it winds around the mountainside and is quite narrow as it is. It took some maneuvering and time but I managed to make my way through and I even managed to see the grizzly (no pictures though). The last I saw he was making his way towards the road and people were scattering.

Last Friday night I went over to John & Jackies for a great meal that John made with shrimp, potatoes and sausage. It's always fun to sit around with co-workers and shoot the breeze. Grance and Glen left on Sunday morning and I sure do miss them. They headed back to Michigan and I promised Glen I would take care of the flowers that Grace has been watering in front of the store.

Yesterday I took Frankie and Bobby over to Norris Geyser Basin during our afternoon break. They are from China and don't get to see the sites very often. We stumble through our language barrier fairly well (I did have to play a pseudo game of charades on how to roll down the window in the car). They were both impressed with the thermal features and Frankie filmed the entire time we were there. Last night Carl, Frankie, Bobby, Hoa, and myself went to Hayden Valley. Frankie and Bobby had not seen a bear yet and we managed to spot one as soon as we got into the valley. I used 'Spot' (my nickname for my scope) and they all got a very nice view of him. Further up the road we hit a bison jam and spent 45 minutes sitting in the car in the rain moving rather slowly. I eventually turned around when I saw that the line of cars went from Trout Creek past Sulpher Couldron. We went back to where we saw the bear and visited with an American who now lives in Germany.

Sickness has been spreading through the dorms. On Saturday we were missing a few people from my shift. We had another dorm meeting on hygiene. Yes, we actually have meetings on the reasons why people should not be washing their feet in the sink and why flushing a toilet is a good thing. We've even had to have demonstrations on how to properly use those paper toilet seat protectors. It even gets worse than that but I'll leave the rest to your imagination.