Mid-Season Update – I’m already halfway done?!

I can’t believe that I’m already halfway done with my season here at Yellowstone National Park. It’s been going by really fast and I’ve definitely reached the point where my brain doesn’t wish to hold any more information. While I’m at this writers block for this blog and for my programs, I thought I would give you guys a little bit of an update of how things are going.

Work Work All Day Long
As soon as I got to Yellowstone I feel like I hit the ground running. I spent all of my time reading, doing research, and creating my programs. A big worry of mine was that I wouldn’t know enough information to provide visitors with the right answers. My worst fear is to do a bad program, or give a visitor a bad experience. I spent a lot of my time off in the office and my co-workers would pick on me for being there. (It is also the only place I can get in contact with my family and friends.) I think that is why I am experiencing writers block or having a “mid-season burnout” the past couple days. I was burning the candle at both ends. Thankfully, I am quite happy with most of my programs and I still love my job. 🙂 Even though I have complained on here before about negative visitors, usually those encounters are rare. I instead have great visitor interactions, but it only takes one negative person to ruin a day, or week.
My favorite moments as a ranger is when I see “the look”. A facial expression that many of us give when we connect to something. We finally understand a process, or we now care about what happens next. When I see that I did my job right; I am one happy ranger. If you walk away smiling laughing and enjoying your family and your national park; I am happy that I was a part of that memory.

Living in the Park 
Living in a National Park is always an interesting experience, sometimes you know people before you get here and other times you’re going in blind. It’s always hard for me to adjust to moving and living to a new place every sixish months. The worst part of that is not having any way to communicate with loved ones. I don’t have cell phone service, tv, or any internet in my apartment. I was lucky last year at Mesa Verde National Park to be one of the few with it! At moments it’s a blessing, but I’m not the type of person to enjoy those moments. I can’t stand the solitude so I constantly have a movie playing or music. A perk would be the type of community I’m living in. All of us rangers live close to each other and we are all in the same boat. Well, some of us anyways, a few have cell phone service. Quite often we have little social gatherings that usually center around food. I did a couple posts earlier this season about my wildlife neighbors and living next to Yellowstone Lake; so I won’t talk about those perks.

When The Snow Comes 
You would be surprised at how many people want to know more about me and my personal life. Where I went to school, where I’m from, where I live now in the park. All of which I’m okay with answering… sometimes. The question I hope to talk about now is “What do you do during the winter?”. The goal for every winter so far is to get another park job, but the competition is rough, and there just isn’t that many parks open. If I can’t find a park job, I will just get any job for the winter. 🙂

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