Maintenance has a little work to do to get the trail ready for Opening Day. Thanks to these big boulders, some of the trees didn't make it.
Rangers, chomping at the bit to hike. Boss said, "You WILL wear hard hats all day today. Did everyone use the restroom? Does everyone have water? Did everyone bring a LUNCH?"
This is the amazing Jay, hiking up for the first time for Season #42! Love you, Jay! Incredible supervisor.
Actually, this was nothing compared to some years, but the black ice slowed me down and we all noticed that nifty log sticking out (there's a rock wall behind that snow somewhere). This wasn't the first time I've been told this on the job, "When we get to the slide at the gate, you will walk through it one ranger at a time. If that slide goes, I only want to lose one of you." Words like that from the boss make you consider a few things.
We have a thermometer hidden in a rock wall on the trail. It lives there all year round. I dug it out this morning and it read thirty-nine degrees. The one hanging on the tree said thirty-eight.
Cell phone reception "up top."
From the arch...Welcome to Timpanogos Cave!
Shoveling snow, ho, ho!
Looking from the grotto out--big snow and Barbara.
It was warmer IN the cave...
Today was our first day to hike up to the cave for training. They wouldn't let us hike last week because of trail conditions. I snapped a few photos of trail conditions today. I used my ski poles and they helped a lot. There were at least five other rangers who hiked with "sticks" as Nance likes to call them. It was black ice in several places on the way up, but by afternoon, the sun had helped (me personally) by melting most of the ice (but not the snow...). All the rangers helped each other by watching over each other and lending a hand through the tough spots. Several rangers really got an extra workout by shoveling steps into the snow to make it easier to go over, and then later shoveling snow to get down to the actual trail level. I just love Timp Cave rangers (married one, didn't I?).
Also, I felt so happy to be back inside those caves. Spring is my favorite time there because just like everything else being busy in nature and waking up on the outside, the cave is very busy on the inside. This is when it is the most wet, the most active. This is when you see and hear and feel those drippy drips. I love the way Mother Nature bathes the cave and freshens it up for a new season. The cave is "waking up" after a long winter too! I was on Andy's Geology tour and felt like interjecting at the Lake Room, "Would you just LOOK at all the ripples on the water!!! So many drops!!!" But I held back. I tapped Kory instead and he acknowledged my comment by pointing to something else amazing that had caught his eye. It's a wonderful thing that the cave rangers are all so in love with our cave.
I enjoyed having Rachael all to myself on the way down. We started the same year and had a little beginning-of-the-season catching up to do. I tried to listen to her and ask questions, but I kept gabbing about my own life too much. Sorry Rachael. She understands.
As much as I love that place, the thing that was on my mind the most was meeting my husband for dinner. Our time together is so short these days, but he always thinks up fun and interesting things to do. I forgot how five miles of hiking and being cold all day revs up the appetite and so I must admit that I ate everything on my plate. Then, K surprised me with dessert later. He's a sweetie and I miss working with him at the cave. Another great thing was coming home and taking a bath. Ah...Spring is here.
3 hours ago