“In the beginning”
Scenes on our way to Grant Village
One week done! I’ve met a lot of people and made many friends …and they are from everywhere. On my first hike, we had 8 employees, 2 guys from Ecuador (who have never seen snow!), 3 other guys from Midwestern states, and 3 girls. All of them were of college age (low to mid 20’s in age). Still hard to believe that my day of work is to make sure they have fun on the days they don’t work! The job does have some stress (and a learning curve) but I think I am going to love it here.
Before I talk about some of the places I’ve already visited, lets talk about the environment here. Some of the natural things that make this so different than back home are: Elevation – Grant village is almost 8000 feet above sea level. Mountains – some of the surrounding “hills” go up to 15000 plus feet (after all, it is the Rockies!). Bodies of water – the lake rarely gets above 450 in the middle of the summer and other ones are 1500 (geysers, mud pots, fumaroles & hot springs) even in winter! Wildlife – Besides buffaloes and elk (which are everywhere!), there are other animals that abound and are far different than in Maine. Grizzlies are common but do avoid humans (Thank God!) and other things like big horn sheep, prong horn deer and trumpeter swans all live here. And this is just the beginning!
This is what we woke up to on June 1st. Yikes!
But I assure you; it’s not all fun and games. June 1st, we awoke to it snowing like crazy! (See above picture) And it snowed off and on all day. The day warmed up to a blistering 390! And the next 2 days greeted us with frozen pipes! Not real bad (nothing broken) but I did have to wait for them to unfreeze before I could make coffee (or wash my face). But the flip side is just as bizarre. The day of morning-frozen-pipes warmed up to a very comfortable 700. Snow is everywhere but with daytime temps like that it is melting fast.
Our “neighborhood” is filling up fast. There are now a dozen other campers here in the employee campground. And we had a visitor yesterday! An elk wandered into our “village” and shared the scenery (and grass) with us. The elk and bison wander about and appear almost tame (like farm animals). I assure you they are NOT! They are wild and are dangerous. We need to keep our distance. Fact: More people are injured by bison than all other animals combined (including bear!). And elk have been known to trample or “rack” you with their antlers. No, Canon makes a nice zoom lens (no need to put myself in danger). Besides, I do not want a Darwin Award.
elk in camp. This was about 100 yards from our camper.
So, we have been to Old Faithful (will be my next blog). It is a geyser …everyone knows that. But the village of Old Faithful has a lot more! Thermals (hydrothermal areas) like fumaroles, mudpots, geysers and hot springs are all over the place. If you visit, stay on the well-marked paths. These pose a greater danger than the animals. Here’s another fun fact, OLD FAITHFUL is just one of many geysers throughout the park! Thermals exist everywhere out here, even here at Grant Village. …And they are very dynamic and change all the time!
Another blog coming up will be Canyon. This is the iconic waterfall that leads into “The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone”. Since we visited “the Mud Volcano” on the way there I will combine them into one blog. And Hayden Valley … herds of buffalo (bison) exist here. This place has me in awe! (I still have to pinch myself. Am I really here?!)
buffalo herd in Hayden Valley
So what has my job been like? Well, I told you about the hike. We also provide after-work activities (volleyball, ping pong, pool) and sell some trinkets (shirts, H2O bottles, and the all important, bear spray) to employees. And I had my WFA training this past Saturday. I am now certified in Wilderness First Aid! (And I hope I never have to use it.)
… YELLOWSTONE !
STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”!
COMING NEXT!! Old Faithful and Canyon
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Coming Soon!!! YouTube hannel with movies of the adventures!