"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

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Avalanches, Collapses and Cave Ins

Move #7 has commenced.  It is not a 'moving day' but a 'moving process'.  A moving process that actually started last week.  I have been moving boxes up and down the stairs from the Adventure Store to my apartment in Mammoth.....the apartment I just moved from 1 1/2 months ago.  This will be my final move, of which I am glad, but along with the move comes the realization that I will be further away from so many people that I have come to know over the past couple of years.  Some of my old comrades have come back to Canyon but I still have plans to stop in and see them from time to time over the summer.  And they plan to stop in and see me.  So all is good and I am terribly excited about my job at Mammoth. 

The winter has been hard on areas of the Park.  Sylvan Pass has been closed a few times because of an avalanche and unstable snow conditions.  The Grant Visitor Center had a roof collapse last week and tonight the road gave caved in just south of Canyon.  The road will be closed for a few days for repairs.  It gave way in the same spot it has before, my first experience with that was two years ago.  As I travel to Lake daily I am lucky that I was on the Canyon side since it is a two hour drive from Lake to Canyon via Old Faithful and Madison.

I have been extremely busy with work as well as a couple of farewell gatherings that are being planned for Judy.  I will be going to West Yellowstone tomorrow for a company gathering and then Sunday night in Gardiner with the Mammoth gang.  On Monday night the Adventure Store will be hosting a Redington party where we will be showing off our new Redington line of apparel.  I was able to invite numerous people for our party, Delaware North employees as well as NPS employees.  We will be serving wine and snacks and all the Adventure Store employees will be sporting some fine Redington apparel.  We are all looking forward to the evening.

I was hauling a load of my belongings to Mammoth this afternoon and found myself in my first bear jam for 2011.  South of Indian Creek a grizzly was out in the open digging away.  I snapped a couple photos as I waited for the line of cars to move.  Interestingly enough Patrick was at meetings in Mammoth during the day and on his way back to Lake he came across the jam after I came through and got to do what he loves most:  work the bear jam.  He answers the visitors questions, keeps them safe, keeps the bear safe and keeps the flow of traffic flowing.

There was also a grizzly mauling by Big Sky last week.  Two hikers were hiking a trail when an elk came running by followed by two grizzlies.  The grizzlies decided to forget the elk and one of the grizzlies went after the hikers as they tried to climb a tree.  No life-threatening injuries (thank goodness!). 

The snow has melted considerably yet winter weather is still in the area.  Yellowstone and the surrounding areas are currently in a Winter Storm Watch, Warning or a Winter Weather Advisory.  Light snowflakes fell as I crossed from Norris to Canyon this evening and I released an audible sigh at the sight.  June is less than two weeks away yet I still keep my ice scraper on the passenger side floor of my car because 9 out of 10 mornings I am still grabbing it and scraping my windshield.