This weekend I was reminded of another good thing about living in Yellowstone--this July 4th was the first time in five years I had to listen to explosions all night long. On the other hand, if I'm here this fall it will be the first time in five years I won't have horny bugling elk waking me up all night long.
I was happy with the June weather here--it was common for there to be a twenty degree temperature difference in Duluth depending on distance from the Lake and fortunately I'm in the cooler foggy zone. Now we seem to have hit true summer with a more similar high temperature everywhere in town. I'm not crazy about being back in the humidity after four summers in the dry high desert of Yellowstone, but I'm on the hillside just a few blocks from the Lake and there is often a breeze going either up or down the hill--fortunately my apartment has windows to catch it either way.
I filled out my Yellowstone winter application this weekend and expect to know by the end of the month if I'll be going back in December. My hope is to switch to working in the Old Faithful area from now on but it's going to be very difficult to do that in winter even though I'm willing to take any job there. With only two locations open in the winter instead of the summer's six, most of the winter employees are summer managers from other locations.
Along with the pleasure of exploring a new part of the park and getting away from the negative personal history of Mammoth, the big pleasure of being at Old Faithful in winter for me is that no one has a car. Along with a certain degree of physical isolation from the outside world, it would be nice to be on that even social playing field again. During my last winter in the park, I spent a great day with a woman who early in the day made a remark about how I needed to go for it if I was interested in someone; I think by the end of the evening she understood that not driving made it impossible for me to go for anyone unless I were only interested in the casual sex which is the norm in Yellowstone.
I will take a winter job at Mammoth if that is all that's offered (and there is no guarantee that even that will be offered) and hope for the best because if I find I'm not going back to the park this winter, I'll have to start looking for a more serious job here and I really don't want to do that. I shouldn't have any trouble getting a job next summer at Old Faithful when along with the new hikes, the big draw will be that it will be cooler since I spent my four Yellowstone summers in the hottest part of the park.