Since I heard that a call was made to a former YNP supervisor asking about me, I’ve been eagerly checking the mail, hoping for a contract to start in December, but nothing yet. On the other hand, I also haven’t gotten the rejection email which comes if you’re not hired. If I’m not hired, it will give me more time to research and make a decision about a medical issue before I wind up isolated and uninsured. One good thing about this stretching out is that it’s now only about five weeks until I’ll fill out the application for next summer and I’ll know about that by the end of the year.
So far, there have been four book worthy Deaths in Yellowstone this summer—hit by falling tree, fell into canyon, drowned after illegally tubing, and suicide. The last two were employees. I would choose the falling tree, having just climbed the hill for a better view of glorious Grand Prismatic. With my fear of heights and frequency of falling dreams, my last choice would be falling into the canyon. I’ve walked the paved trail the girl stepped off before falling—on the day I hiked it, the trail was wet with loose gravel and I never felt confident of not slipping until I was back on level ground. The other two deaths were self-induced, one deliberately and one by deliberately choosing an unsafe illegal activity.
NPS has a Yellowstone Facebook page which had posts about all of these along with the usual subjects. The page is a fairly good source of information but maybe I should train myself to not read the comments, often filled with ignorance about Yellowstone, ecology, depression, and every other subject. Even worse are the people using it as a platform for their issues.
The search for the drowning victim led to a complaint about it being illegal to ride the rivers, the vague preliminary post about the suicide led to assumptions about toxic gases and murderers including the cover-up of the killing because it was done by a government employee. Another was sure the presumed murder would have been prevented if the park had better cell phone coverage even though the part of the park where it happened has fine coverage. Others don’t understand why all the dead trees weren’t cut down or why there aren’t fences built all along the canyon. Somewhere in there was a complaint that the wolves had eaten all the wildlife. And another guy wasn’t going to come back if he couldn’t use his drone.
Happily and surprisingly, there were far more responses applauding the banning of drones, and not wanting more cell phone towers, and trying to explain what wild and risk mean. One day, I saw a comment from someone I used to work with—we can quit anytime we like, but we can never leave.
My former roommate and another friend were among the winners of this year's YNP employee photo contest. You can see the photos here.
While I’m waiting to see my future, I’ve been constructively using my barely working time to sample some of the most highly rated craft beers and look forward to trying several from Founders Brewing from Michigan. With beer names like Dirty Bastard, Backwoods Bastard, and Curmudgeon, this could be the right brewery for me! And I’m really hoping to enjoy Deschutes’ The Dissident, which gets released this month, because I like the t-shirt so much that I ordered one without ever having tasted the beer.