Bon jour du Bastille!
I was super excited not to be in the parking lot for most of today, because I had plans for phase two of my little traffic research project. Well, woman proposes, elk disposes, and indeed I was out of the lot all day — doing visitor-elk diplomacy. Today’s highlights:
1. Starting the day climbing Geriatric with Rick M and Scott Wolff to watch Junction 1047M.
2. Having the opportunity to use what pass for my French skills to caution a visitor too close to the elk, only to realise I don’t know the word for either “elk” or “maul”.
3. Running along in disbelief as the elk led me almost immediately back to – yes, you guessed it – the parking lot, where I spent much of the afternoon literally coralling visitors in my own front yard.
4. I’m figuring out that if you stay on duty after all the interp and general rangers have signed off (which is also generally when the visitors’ center closes), you can really make a huge difference for folks. I was the only one on elk duty after all the non-LE rangers signed off for the day, and was so glad I stayed on duty for a while because there was a family stuck with a trans that had quit, and I was able to get LE on the scene,help manage one child’s panic attack, see them into lodging, and wait with them for the wrecker to arrive.
5. Immediately thereafter, helping a couple looking for the Night Sky programming figure out that it was 30 miles down the road in Madison, and discover where to go there once there. Yesterday and today were the only nights this summer for it, and she said they’d driven all the way across the country for it.
Pretty cool to go to bed every night with killdeer lullabies, knowing that in some little way, I made someone’s day better.