"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, October 26, 2009

Heat (or the lack of)

Robyn in Hayden with Washburn Range

With the day off today I drove up to Hayden Valley. Dunraven Pass is closed for the season now and this picture shows how much snow is up in the Washburn Range. The only bison I saw in Hayden was one that I watched swim the Yellowstone River and then run off nearly at full speed. It was a grand feeling to practically have Hayden Valley all to myself (I only saw three other cars in the valley).

Bull Elk at Lower Terrace

Swans on the Yellowstone River by Hayden Valley

Bob the Bison

I found Bob the bison walking the road between Canyon and Norris this morning. It was a good day for bison spotting as I also saw the Magnificent One on a hill across from Roaring Mountain and also saw Dorm Bison's #2 and #3 by Canyon.

Elk at the Store

This mama elk was standing outside the store yesterday and took some time from grazing to look up at me as I opened the door. I'm sure by the end of my time in Mammoth I will have a few thousand pictures of elk by the store. It's quite amazing to see them right outside the windows.

Two weeks ago a man fishing by Cooke City was mauled by a grizzly bear. He was with a companion (it was told to me that they both were rangers) who had to shoot and kill the bear to prevent it from injuring or killing his friend. My co-workers, Jerry and Carol, saw a wolf between Gardiner and Mammoth yesterday morning and a guest reported to seeing a mountain lion somewhere between Sheepeater's Cliff and Obsidian. Laura from the Adventure Store saw a mountain lion in June by Mud Volcano and there was also one spotted repeatedly last year between Gardiner and Mammoth. I do hope to see one someday but I know the odds are against it.

Two nights ago I got back from work to find that the furnace had gone out. It was getting cold in there and I was preparing to settle in with a few blankets for a chilly evening. Luckily for me one of my neighbors decided to knock on my door to invite me to a campfire in the YACC Camp (where I now live). I took the opportunity to see if he knew anything about furnaces. Another neighbor stopped in to help and when it was decided that a part was broken he made a phone call (which ended up being numerous calls between me and the comm. center and DNC maintenance). In the end an Amerigas employee gave up his Saturday night and in the end I had a fixed furnace, heat, and an opportunity to meet some of my neighbors. Everyone was so nice to help me. And that's the way people are in Yellowstone: Nice!