June, 2021 – Yellowstone National Park – My final destination!
Well, here I am again in one of the most fascinating parks in the country! I say fascinating because in addition to the beauty of the park, its unique thermal features are seriously one of a kind, and that makes it interesting. It is also the first national park in the world and will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022. I am on the beautiful side of the park at Lake Yellowstone, where the water is soothing and the black sand reveals its volcanic history. I work with a mature group and know someone whom I worked with last year at Old Faithful. It’s great to see a familiar face here!
There is so much to see and do here. I work at Grant Village General Store and it’s on the quiet side of the park. It’s near the south entrance and the last store going in that direction. We are working with a “skeleton” crew because no one wants to work this year and we have a full time work week with a couple of days off. For some reason (getting older), I am very tired after work and don’t do much in the evening. I brought in my sewing equipment and have a few books and movies downloaded. On my days off, there are trips to Canyon Village and to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which has the most spectacular views in the park. I’ve been on some great hiking trails and manage to meet people during the hikes so I’m not alone all of the time. There are bears in those woods! There are also elk everywhere! They hang out by our dorms and RV spots and I see some almost every day. What beautiful animals!
This year, the park has broken attendance records for June and July and over 1 million people visited the park in July. These are big numbers and have put stress on the park and the animals. In August, the numbers have dropped and we are starting a 4 day work week, with a 10 hour day until we close. Our store is also closing a couple of week early, and some people are moving to other stores and others, including me, are leaving.
This has also been a period of grieving for me, and I am glad that I am here. I made new friends and got a lot of support from everyone. I still get emotional and I don’t sleep well, but things have started to calm down a little.
I will write more about the highlights of my adventures soon and look forward sharing them with you. In the meantime, stay safe!