Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Road to West Yellowstone

Should working at the front desk of the Old Faithful Inn be this hard?

Should I be considering a tranquilizer for a minimum wage job?

Will I have any hair left in a few weeks?

To be fair, last night's shift wasn't too bad.  Guests smiled, I smiled, the bison smiled...all was well...until it was time to clock out.

I was short 11 cents in my cash drawer.  Fortunately, you have to be 12 cents short before they call the Park Rangers to haul you away.  Sometimes that sounds like a welcome relief.  BUT...being short means forms to fill out and reports to be run.  No one was quite sure which forms so there was a period of consultations while I sat in time out.

Meanwhile, an angry guest came to the front desk and my manager was pulled away to deal with her.  I was sitting and still on the clock during the fracas.  My feet and legs were grateful.  Eventually it came time to run my final, corrected, shameful report and the printer broke.  More consultations.  More sitting.  I was set free 45 minutes after I was supposed to leave.

As I left the Old Faithful Inn, I looked in the lounge window at the guests enjoying cocktails and food that did not come out of industrial size cans, and I felt like The Little Match Girl.

My little face pressed up against the window.

My cold chapped hands.

No money in my pockets.

In reality, Grizzly son and girl friend came along, and we went into the lounge for a drink.  It was nice, but my drink cost me an hour's wage. 


Today, my friend, Susan and I went to West Yellowstone to meet David at Yellowstone Traders and to explore a little.

On the way we saw elk...

a swan....

The back end of a coyote....

He was moving fast.

We stopped at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.

It was cold and these guys wouldn't pose for us, so this is the best I could do.

The wolves were cold, bored and asleep.

The bears have to work for a living.

The staff put food in a variety of trash containers to see which ones can hold up to a hungry bear.

Most of the trash containers don't make the grade.

It makes the bears proud to beat modern manufacturing techniques.

The crows here are the size of cows.

Hitchcock should have used them in the making of "The Birds." 

Here's me in the gift shop.

Bear hug anyone?

On the way back, more elk.

This one had a tracking collar.  Just in case it made a run for the border.

And finally, a chipmunk demanded to have his picture taken.

I don't know if this is Chip or Dale.

And so these are the Days of Our Lives from Yellowstone National Park. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for more frustration, pictures and thoughts from Judy, girl ranger. 


darlin said...

Wow, it's no wonder you wanted to go to Yellowstone! The animals, the fresh air and drinks which cost $7-$8 HAVE to be delicious! Awesome photos. Nite Judy.

greentangle said...

So they paid you an extra $5 or so because you were 11 cents short? Yep, those folks know what they're doing! I bet if you're short a quarter next time, you could afford a second drink.

POD said...

That post cracked me up about the little match girl. Not that I would laugh but still...what an image with your face pressed up against the glass watching the wealthy (haha) eat while you toil out in the trenches.

Carole said...

Glad that things are looking up, Judy! I've been following you with lots of laughs but also some empathy for you in this transition. Sorry I have nothing funny to say, but your blog is a treat to read!

Judy said...

Thanks everyone. I'm doing my best.

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