19 hours ago
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Moving to Old Faithful
Goodbye, Fishing Bridge (sob!). Hello, Old Faithful! The Ranger received a phone call from Rich, the District Ranger (boss of his supervisor) asking if he would like to graduate from a GS-05 to a GS-07 and spend the season at Old Faithful. He said "Yes!" For the record, we have LOVED Fishing Bridge these past four seasons. SO much! It pulls at our heartstrings to not go back. The rangers there are so great and we were looking forward to another season. We will miss the chatter of boreal frogs in the kettle pond down in Government Meadow with elk grazing peacefully. It's the only backyard we've ever had where we could photograph grizzlies from the porch. And the bison...so many funny bison. However, TR couldn't turn down a Seven. And so here we are, headed for the busiest place in the park. Fishing Bridge Visitor Center gets around 1,200 visitors each day and Old Faithful draws around 12,000. That's alotta folks asking where the restroom is and when Old Faithful will erupt next!
We are hearing we'll live in a two bedroom trailer. Fingers crossed we won't have too many mice for roommates and that there's not a mold problem or something like that. I will do my best to clean and air out the place. You just never know when it comes to park housing. This will be our third park housing dwelling and the sixth dwelling inhabited in our twelve years of marriage. TR will still get to do some programs, guided walks/talks and hikes...the interpretation he really loves, but he will also assist with employee scheduling, payroll, and some other supervisory/training/mentoring duties. And of course, there will be time at the desk at the Visitor Center. So much to learn.
I shouldn't boast too much, but one of TR's great qualities is his considerable "chill" factor. He's good under fire. I've seen/heard other rangers freaking out on the radio about the trail being "washed out" with a large family stranded above and he just calmly responds, "Please explain what you mean by "washed out." I've seen/heard other rangers tell him that he's their "hero" because he's so measured when calling to report a grizzly bear 15 yards off the boardwalk while directing everyone back to their cars in the parking lot (other rangers get a little "ratcheted up" when calling in such things). When a woman had a seizure during his evening program, he just pulled his radio off his belt and contacted dispatch to send EMS. His program microphone was still on so those of us in the audience could hear every word of his report. When the ambulance arrived even the EMS guy said, "Wow! You are so cool headed over the radio!" And guess what? He doesn't make visitors cry at the desk (I've seen a ranger do that by being short-tempered and rude). So yes, it will be a different kind of summer and crazy busy with all the visitors, but he will grow, we will grow, and we will learn all sorts of new stuff--especially a deeper understanding of the geology of geysers and the nature of thermophiles--heat loving bacteria.
We will miss you, Lake. We will miss you, Elevation 7,800 feet. We will miss you, Sarah/Mike/Laurie/Kass/Sirie/Susan/Richard/Tom/John/Harlan/Eric/and everyone else. We will miss you, Government Meadow and Quarters 709 B. We will miss you, Storm Point and Mud Volcano. We will miss you, Hayden Valley and Indian Pond. But we will grow to love Old Faithful and all the new friends we will meet there!