Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Ranger is Learning His Way Around the UGB

The ranger is learning his new duties, one of which is how to predict the next eruption of Old Faithful. It all depends on how long its last eruption lasted and so on and so forth. The eruption gets posted and tweeted and downloaded as many places as they can think to spread the news. He mentioned how high the water spouted and so I asked, "How do you measure that?" Well, they use the surrounding trees to gauge that! "If it goes up to this branch it's around 81 feet and if it gets to that branch it's about 145." This cracks me up, but I have no better suggestions.

There are these really focused, dedicated people who ADORE geysers and they are called Geyser Gazers. This group of people, from all over, and who knows how much time and money they spend for the privilege of hanging out in the geyser basins, sit and watch geysers. Like for days. They do some amount of coordinating because they are always there. They hang out all night long jotting things down in their notebooks. The park service has some data loggers hidden around the various geysers to track their eruptions along with some web cams, but these humans...these humans are serious about their chosen work. K was going to check the data logger of one of the geysers but was in the middle of deciding if the water play was an imminent eruption or not when a Geyser Gazer called out, "I'd get out of there if I were you, it's gonna blow." So he did. And it did. The Geyser Gazers are so well acquainted with each geyser that they can read all the nuances of each stage of the eruption cycle.

There are other things going on in the UGB (Upper Geyser Basin) such as bison and bears (sow with two cubs, but not cubs of the year). He's been giving a few programs. And of course there are people. Thousands and thousands of people. People that let their children run ahead. Children that get lost. Children who get found by The Ranger, get handed off to Law Enforcement, and get reunited with their mothers. There are also children, namely four year old boys, that feel compelled to wrap themselves around the leg of a certain 6'3" ranger and smile up at him with glee. The Ranger simply smiles back down and pats the child before scanning the crowd to see which adult belongs to the boy.

The Ranger is a bit saddle sore from riding his government issued bicycle between the Government Housing Area and the Visitor Center (saves parking spots for visitors). His feet are a bit sore from breaking in a new pair of Brown Polish-able uniform shoes as well as a new pair of Keens for hiking. He finally located a vacuum cleaner that works. It lives at the Visitor Center. He had to drive over, load it up, vacuum the trailer, and then haul it back.

This ranger is currently sleeping in our tent at some campground near some place called Bear Creek, in Montana. The only other people there are the campground hosts. The river is rushing nearby helping him to relax and rejuvenate. I can just picture him cocooned in his sleeping bag, breathing the fresh air of God's Country. I miss him. I miss him, but I am tethered to my career responsibilities for awhile yet. And no baby bears for me.

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