Had my interview this morning for the second Yellowstone job which will be working in reservations--it's kind of relaxing to have an interview with someone you've worked with, knowing that unless something goes very wrong you're getting hired. I asked if "extreme" hair had anything to do with length; she said it meant blue or pink, so I guess my old hippie plan is safe. No lip or tongue piercings allowed (presumably for slurred speech on the phone reasons), but it'll be OK if I decide to go for an ear. Remember when one ear meant you were gay and one meant you were straight? I guess the tongue . . . nah, we won't go there.
We just need to figure out my starting date which will likely happen this week. Training for the new group starts in mid-March but they'd apparently like me to start before then. I'm not sure I want to. I'd like to get back to the park and it would certainly be cheaper than traveling for two weeks after I leave here, but I think I'd like to go through the same training as everyone else. Even though I already know some of the material, there is plenty I don't know and I'd like to experience the whole thing because this is the job which will likely determine how much of the year I'll be living/working there in the future. Plus, I don't want to give someone bad info now and then have them call me back at the other job and recognize my voice. "Hey, you're the dirty SOB who put me in that place I hated!" Anyway, this year I'll be there at least 7 months after being there 4 1/2 months in 2010 so it's moving in the right direction.
We're having a cold spell here and the Lake is as beautiful as ever. I wish I were photographing it for you. I wish that every day when I come downtown I were walking to and from along the Lakewalk as I used to and that when I wasn't by the Lake I was in the snowy woods, but I'm resting my foot as much as possible. I don't think it's getting any better yet, but at least it's not getting worse.
I'm down to about 75 books and still trying to pull a few more before making my selling trip to St. Paul. Checked at Amazon to see which ones are still in print. Went through my pile of Wild Earth and am getting rid of half of them. What a shame that magazine isn't published any more. On the other hand, I'm checking online and making a list of the contents of issues of Yellowstone Science and will pick up copies when I get there.
I'm in the midst of spending about $1000 on dental work before going back to the "wilderness". It seems cheap after that place I went to in Boston last spring where they came up with a list of about $6000 worth of stuff they wanted to do. Pull this, replace those, nah, not doing any of that.
Started thinking about what comes after Yellowstone in October. If it turns out I'll be returning to work in December, a two month Greyhound pass costs about $550. Pretty cheap way to get around to all the places in the country I haven't seen yet (Northwest, Southwest, San Francisco) and revisit some of the favorites I haven't seen in a long time (New Orleans, Marquette, Burlington, Brattleboro, Portland). And I'm sure that would give me plenty to write about. If I won't be returning in December, I suspect I may not be returning at all and will have to look for a new home. Bozeman, Missoula, back to Duluth, dodging rangers and bears in the backcountry? Well, I'll let you know when I do.
Hope everyone's well, and thanks for the fruitcake.