"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, June 28, 2010

Power Outages

Grizzly by Mud Volcano

Black Bear by Tower Junction

It's been a wild week. Thunderstorms on Tuesday night knocked out the power through much of the Park. Dave and Andrea drove back to Canyon from Mammoth after the storm and saw many trees across the road. Canyon was without power for 11 hours and we spent much of Wednesday morning working without electricity. I got up at 4:00am to check on the cooler temps and decided to head back to bed when I saw that we were going to lose two coolers full of food. Wednesday was a morning full of cold showers and puffy hair that didn't get the benefit of a hair dryer or curling iron. We were not as bad off as Lake was. Power lines went down in the government housing section and they were without electricity for 22 hours.

The power outage came just in time for our Director of Operations, the head of HR, our Controller and the Regional Manager came to spend the day working different jobs (cooking, janitorial, stocking) at the Canyon General Store. They got to live firsthand how the stores are worked without power. When the power came on I headed over with camera in hand to snap a few photos of my bosses cooking and hauling out bags of garbage. Though the Adventure Store was not involved with having them work all of us YGS employees had fun working with them and watching them do our jobs.

Last night the head of concessions for YNP had a retirement party and I headed to that with Patrick. I got to know Judy when I was working at Mammoth this past winter. It was also her and her husbands house that I got to go to for Thanksgiving last year. Another thunderstorm came through the area but not with the same results as Tuesdays. This morning I had to drive through another storm that dumped hail on my car and when I worried that my windshield would bust out I found a tree to park under. More storms may come tonight.

I needed to drive down to Grant Village this afternoon. At Alum Creek there is an elk kill with a grizzly feeding on it. A HUGE crowd of people were out in the valley watching the bear. The roads, shoulders and pullouts are filled with cars and people. The bear has been there all day. Since I was on work related duty (and not really in the mood to battle for a parking spot) I didn't stop but I did get to see the bear, which is rather large, off in the distance with it's prize.

I saw grizzly by Mud Volcano last week and two different black bears, one by Tower Junction and one north of Dunraven Pass. But mostly I've been doing chipmunk watching in front the off the store.

The weather has warmed up and for the first time I can look at the weeks forecast and not see the words 'snow flurries' in it. I should have about 2 months of respite from those flakes.