"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, June 22, 2010

Bear Rocks

Snow on June 17, 2010

The lack of recent postings is due to the 1 1/2 week long bison jam I've been in. Ok, not really. But I have spend quite a bit of time sitting in grizzly bear jams - 2 within 5 minutes of each other, one in Hayden Valley and then another just south of Mud Volcano - as well as bison and a coyote jam. And then there is the occasional 'bear rock' jams. Bear rocks are those distant boulders that make people stop and pull out their binoculars so they can get a good look at a bear only to realize that they are looking at a rock. On my travels through the Park I have memorized each boulder that may resemble a bear from a distance, though I still am occasionally fooled by a stump.

Last Thursday I took a picture of the front of the Adventure Store. What was unusual (or not so unusual this year) about the picture was that it also captured the snowflakes that were falling. We are still dealing with rain and snow though this last week has been rather pleasant. Dunraven still gets closed once in awhile, but mostly because of slick roads. If your heading to Yellowstone don't forget to pack some warm clothes.

There was a grizzly bear mauling about 6 miles outside the East Entrance on Thursday that resulted in the death of a man. He was a botanist who recently published a book about plants in Yellowstone. The bear responsible was eventually tracked down and destroyed. The article about the incident is in some of the local papers.

I've been extremely busy during the week but on Friday I made it to Cody to finally get Wyoming plates put on my car. During my 'down time' from the store I've been doing some fun things, such as this weekend when Patrick took me for a drive up some back roads around Jim Mountain by Wapiti. Fabulous scenery! From way up there I could look down over the Wapiti Valley and see how green it is by the river. Last night we went to a NPS Volunteer and Employee potluck and then it was off to listen to the string quartet at the Lake Hotel. The older I've gotten the more I have come to appreciate classical music and there is nothing more relaxing than sitting in the Lake Hotel and listening to the quartet play. I highly recommend this experience to everyone.

Other than that I've been going to meetings for the grocery department, the apparel department and tomorrow I head to West Yellowstone for a managers meeting. I enjoy the meetings because I get to meet people from other YGS throughout the Park. I'm also being talked into playing softball next Monday for the Delaware North team vs the Xanterra team. I don't even know if I'm still capable of hitting a softball or running without a mad bison behind me. It should be interesting.

On my trip to Minnesota last month I did have a funny situation. My friend's daughter, Leah, was introducing me as her "mom's friend from Yellowstone." I told her about the grizzly bears and bison and all the interesting things that I get to see and do. And what was the most fascinating thing she got out of our conversation? It was the fact that I hadn't watched tv in over a year!