"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

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Most Silent Silence

I had some nice pictures to share but unfortunately they will not upload.  I don't seem to get as frustrated with that as much anymore.  I just shrug it off as one-of-those-things.  Yellowstone is not necessarily technologically conducive to doing those tasks that rely on connections, uploading, downloading and receiving. 

I headed to Canyon Friday afternoon with only half of the new employees.  Because of the winter storm and road conditions I had to leave Nancy and Jerry in West Yellowstone with their RV.  Blanding Hill, between Norris and Canyon, can be a bear during snowy conditions and I had concerns that they would not make it to Canyon.  They unhooked their vehicle and drove that in today.  It was a good thing because the road between Norris and Canyon has snow towering above the vehicles on both sides of the road and the road is only 1 1/2 lanes wide which can be a nightmare if you come across a plow coming from the opposite direction.  So Nancy, Gerry and their cat, Shadow, are living in the dorms at the Adventure Store until they can bring their RV in.  Our new maintenance guy, Jim, is staying in his RV in West Yellowstone until he too can move his RV to Canyon.

The snow levels at Canyon are unbelievable!  Today I met 3 of the men who were shoveling the roof of Canyon General when they came out to inspect how much snow had fallen since last week.  It is a small world, when I was visiting with one of them I found out he was originally from Fargo, North Dakota (80 miles from where I am originally from) and we went to the same university (University of Minnesota, Moorhead).  I also ran into Ranger Chris who informed me of a propane leak in the Canyon area but at this time those of us at the Adventure Store are not close enough to be evacuated.  I got to know Ranger Chris during these past two winters in Mammoth and I am so happy that he will be a law enforcement ranger at Canyon.

I have 4 members of the 2011 Adventure Store staff at the store now, 2 more will come in on Monday.  When a new group of people get together it is always hoped that they will be a group that meshes.  And what can I say about this new group?!  The word:  WOW comes to mind.  I can already tell that it is going to be a fabulous year with top-notch Associates and Floor Supervisors.  There is an incredible group at the Adventure Store just waiting to get going and start our season. 

I sat outside the store this afternoon at the picnic tables under the overhang.  I heard the most incredible sound ever:  silence.  It is odd to not hear the roar of the waterfall, the sound of laughter from visitors, the sound of cars driving by or the sound of anything.  It was the most silent silence I have ever heard.   Then occasionally I would hear a small drip of snow melting off the roof and hitting the pile of snow underneath.  And then I heard the sound of a raven flying by.  And that was it.  Silence. 

And with our latest dumping of snow I have to mention a conversation I had at the Food Farm in Gardiner with a kindly gentleman this morning.  We were moaning and complaining about this last storm and how much of a hassle it is to move around and get things accomplished with the 8 - 12 inch snowfall that fell on top of all the previous feet of snow we have had.  I know that I let out a few choice words this morning as I waded through snow brushing snow and scraping ice off my vehicle and then having to listen to the thud, thud, thud of snow in my wheel well as I drove.  This gentleman put it all in perspective when he mentioned that no matter how difficult this new snowfall is on all of us, physically and emotionally, it could never compare to the heartache that has been going on in Japan.  And suddenly my urge to complain disappeared.