Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sometimes You Have to Leave Yellowstone Park

Susan didn't change her mind.  She left Yellowstone Park.

 Here she is at the airport outside Bozeman, saying "Hello," and....


She woke up with a cold, another sign that it was time to go.

Just want you to know, Susan, that even though I know it was the right thing to do, you are a rat for deserting me!

I was polite at the airport, but now I'm letting it all out.

Just to make you feel even worse, I hear that a bus load of handsome cowboys are coming in next week.  They have lots of money and have a weakness for women from Georgia.  So raspberries at you.  Miss you anyway.

It was a long drive to the airport.  We left Yellowstone Park through the West Yellowstone entrance and then took I-91 north through the Gallatin National Forest.  Actually, part of the 89 mile drive was still Yellowstone.  I have no idea where one starts and the other begins.  There isn't a big dividing line or anything.  Just lots of pine trees, mountains, running streams, and critters.

On the way back, I stopped to take photos, of course.

I didn't have a good place to pull off, but on the right side of the river you might see some people in kayaks.  At least that's what they looked like to me.

There was a little rapids in this spot that attracted them and their freaky spandex clothing.

I did one of those dangerous touristy things and came to a screeching halt when I saw this black bear ambling up a hillside.

You can see the trailer to the left.  There were actually a few houses and a restaurant right down the road from him.

Don't think you would let little Fluffy out in the yard with this for a neighbor.

Farther up the river, I saw a man and his son fly fishing in this strange landscape.

I have no idea what kind of bushes or weeds line the river, but the colors add a fall like touch to the area.

Here's another view of the unique vegetation.

This was on both sides of the road for several miles.  As one of my British guests said the other day, "brilliant!"  I must remember to say "brilliant" at least a dozen times a day.

I know I have mentioned this before, but now that a good friend has left Yellowstone Park, I need to warn any of you who are thinking about trying this work adventure that it isn't as nifty keen as it sounds.

First of all, working for Xanterra, the company that runs the hotels, restaurants and some gift shops in the Park, is not easy.  They work you hard.  These are hospitality jobs.  If you are older like me, you have never waited on people or at least not for a couple of decades.

Your feet and back will hurt.  Grizzly son makes fun of my room because we have bunion pads and gas relief pills and ointments for muscle pain.  Well, actually, those things belong to my roomy.  But I do have a strange calloused area on my big toe and I think there is some kind of fungous growing around my knee.  Of course there is the broken tooth thing going on, but enough of that.

Secondly, unless you are extremely independent and totally oblivious to other human beings, you should bring a friend or a spouse with you.  Taking a chance on a roommate is a HUGE gamble.  I lucked out and roomy and I are settling into our"Odd Couple" routine.  She snores, I wear earplugs and it works.  One of my friends is finally moving out on the "Sniper."  This is the woman who sleeps on top of the covers and keeps the blinds drawn 24/7.  She might as well sleep in a coffin.  She probably does at home.

Thirdly, you have to love nature, cause it's all  you have.  There is internet in some of the dorms. There is no television unless you pay for a satellite dish.  The days are incredibly long here in Yellowstone Park.  You can hike all day and still have hours to kill.  Maybe the days are long because there is no television and you don't have to clean or cook.  If you like to drink a lot or are working on becoming an alcoholic, there is ample opportunity for that.  Set those goals high!

Yellowstone Park is a wonderful place to be for a time.  I'm looking at this 6 month contract and having my doubts.  The kids are acting like I'm a wimp, but living in a dorm room and waiting on tourists may not be for everyone.  I am holding my head high under their criticism.  If I stay here for two months, that is still longer than most people will ever have in the Park.

Time will tell.  Good night friends.  I may head over to the pub for a Moose Drool.  It is sounding refreshing.  Have I been here too long already?


Scott said...

Sorry your friend decided to leave. Nice job on those photos coming back though. Aren't some of those tourists/visitors/guests/ fun? Or at least brilliant?

Betty said...

It's selfish of me, I know but I hope you stick it out for the six months. I'm really enjoying your blog and the photos.

David Barnes said...

Oh no, that's sad about Susan, and for you too. You guys got along well.

darlin said...

Judy do not drink the Moose Drool, not good for you my friend. (Don't say I didn't warn you when you wake up not feeling very well and have to be polite to the brilliant tourists.

That's a cute shirt your friend has, do you own one as well? If not doing bother buying one like this, yours must say "HELLO" and on the back "HERE FOR THE LONG HAUL", you can do this! Like you mentioned, even if it is for a few months look at the experience you'll have. A once in a lifetime thing your doing there.

You inspire me to be brave, to venture out and to push through anything, thanks for that!

Have a wonderful Monday!
p.s. I wouldn't fish in that water, who knows what is in there... ewwww! lol

Judy said...

Betty...thanks for following the blog. Don't worry, if I leave, the blog will continue in some form. There are pictures to be taken in Ohio and stories to be told. I don't have the shirt. I need one in case I leave early. I think you are an inspiration! Only had half a Moose Drool. I'm not much of a drinker.

Thanks everyone for following. yes, I will miss Susan.

Carol said...

Ok, Judy, I know what you're feeling. Try to stick it out, and in the end you'll actually remember it as a good season. Its crazy, I did it last year, but was working in back of house. I had this calandar and I'd mark off the days, counting down, kinda what I'm doing now! :)
Your writing is excellent. Looking forward to reading you everyday.

Mike said...

Hi Judee. Loved seeing you wave at me on the OF webcam. Useless Lap Kitty even stopped vomiting to look at the screen! Your #1 son, Erik...aka due here around 4 pm, and we'll have to bail out of here at 5:45 am tomorrow to get him to the airport. As you know, I lived overseas for six years, but there's no place like home, where ever it is. I'm sure this is what Suzy-Q was thinking. Whatever you think about your co-workers (who weren't hired because they were homeless or on a court-ordered community service program), it generally takes a lots of guts to change your environment. Most of my friends in high school here never left this area. We're having our 45 year class reunion July 31. The jocks are all short, fat and bald. Their teenage brides are OLD, wrinkled and grandmothers now. I don't think I'll attend because I'm still 35. I've always been 35 and when I look in the mirror each morning, I don't see the receding hair line. The washboard abs are still there, but hiding under an inch of skin which developed when gravity got my chest in the 90's. Hang in there until I visit in late June and good luck with your tooth tomorrow! Love you and miss you more than I can say. The Mikey

Anonymous said...

Awwww, I will miss you as well Judy! I made the right dicision to come home. I don't hold anything against the park. I still love it, but I was so happy to see my Daddy and Brother standing in the Atlanta airport at midnight waiting on me. I usually dreed getting on the 10 lane downtown connector. My cold is much better, but the school called me today to come pick up my sick child. What if I had not been home?! MELTDOWN! There is no place like home. :) I will continue to read, so keep it comming. Susan

POD said...

This is such a big commitment! 6 months. I live alone. I am by myself. I live in nature, a very rural area. I have one neighbor who's sort of close by but I don't speak to many people where I live. If I had to call the police, I'd be dead before they got to my house. Lord knows why I do this. Lord knows why you're doing that. hahahaha
Sorry. Had to laugh. Or I'd cry thinking about you. At least I have TV and I can scrub the floor or sort out old stuff or wipe the coffee stains off my nose.

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