Friday, May 22, 2009

A week in the life of an employee....

SO the past week and a half has been extremely busy and filled with ups and downs. Lake Hotel was hit by a pretty severe wind storm which blew down trees in every direction from us; it damaged both out connections to the main power grid. Thus leaving us without power for 72 hours right before we were suppose to open. Our Friday opening was postponed until Saturday and all the employees were evacuated every night to save us from the lack of heat and water. However, some good did come from the evacuation...on the drive back I got the closest view of a grizzly bear that I would ever want to have; he was eating weeds along the road about 8 feet from my car.

Beyond that, the trails are still closed but we've been taking trips into the northern part of the park so we can get out and about, also basketball is keeping us entertained most afternoons. Last night was the opening of the Pub....finally, it had been put off for over a week now due to water problems, but its open just in time for hell week.

Hell week is this fantastic time when we are not at full staff but are at full capacity. This weekend the Hotel jumps from 150 approximate guests to 660 guests, leaving all the employees working double and split shifts to cover the rush. After this weekend our in-house guests will hover right around 400 for the rest of the season.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Yesterday I moved back into the Park. It's wonderful to be back, there is a lot more snow this time but the atmosphere here created by the employees makes you forget the cold. We started training this morning, and luckily being a return employee I get to skip most of it. The drive down to Lake Hotel was wonderful, there was a grizzly bear playing in the snow on the side of the road and some bison calves jumping in the drifts.

Thus far I just gotten settled in and walked around this location. Currently all the trails are closed so the only form of entertainment will be my goal of digging out the picnic table out front which as been overtaken by 4 feet of snow. Happily the weather report calls for temperatures to be in the 50's for the rest of the week.


I spent a quick week with my brother down in New Mexico to help him move into his new house. The week went by far too fast; we spent a lot of time cleaning and settling into the house but had a few days to go be tourists. We visited the botanical gardens, the aquarium and also took the worlds longest tram ride to the top of a mountain. Really beautiful sights. Below are a few pictures of his new house.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Surprises of the UP

A short trip to Marquette for one last goodbye to some friends was highlighted by one phenomenal day of exploring. Since getting my new jeep I was wanting to see what it can do off-road; well it most definitely got pushed on this trip. Evan and I were pursuing the elusive AAA road; a seasonal county road which has duped us on multiple occasions. We followed the road until it became completely overtaken with snow and had to accept defeat once more. On our return trip we got distracted by another road we've never traveled. Along this road were many beautiful houses and some land for sale, we were so intrigued we just continued to drive.

Well, for hours we followed it and as we did it became a muddier and continued to get narrower and narrower as we progressed but the map showed that it would eventually lead us directly back to the highway. As we crossed streams and huge ditches I was convinced that this could not possibly be a county road; but the gps claimed otherwise, thus we drove on.

Finally we came to an intersection; the road before us was fairly traveled, in fact it was an interstate compared to what we were just on. The issue with the road before us however, was that it did not exist on the map, and the road we were suppose to follow did not exist we turned left. About a mile up the road to the left we discovered a gate, locked and well protected on either side to prevent our passing. Frustrated we decided going right, although it was in the wrong direction it would be much better than back tracking down the path we just followed so we went back to the intersection and this time went took 3 miles in this direction to find another gate.

Disheartened, we had no other options but to turn around and take our chances through the streams and ditches once more. On our way out of the area we passed through an open gate which we of course did not take into account on the way in. Being the kind people Evan and I are we stopped to close the gate and save the next sorry batch of explorers wouldn't have to discovered the blockades now almost 10 miles behind us. The gate unveiled an interesting sign that prohibited motor vehicles from the area...foiled again by another UP road; but still an entertaining day.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Two years has flown by and sadly I even neglected to finish writing about Yellowstone 2007 and here I am starting over with Yellowstone 2009. So for those still checking in on here I hope to be a bit more disciplined in timely posts and apologize for the delay.

I guess an update is due or at least a highlight reel of the last two years.

After leaving Yellowstone I returned to school in Michigan for my junior year which was pretty uneventful because I was taking so many classes in order to graduate the following winter. I did manage to get an internship set up for the Summer of 08' arranged and moved down to Madison, WI in May to write legislation for the Green Tier Program within the WDNR. Thus, most of my summer was spent in an office. Callie (my roommate) and I did get one pretty awesome hiking trip in at Devils Lake State Park, but that was about it.

Around mid summer in 08' my professor contacted me regarding another internship working with a news source at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. So after what seemed like endless pages of paperwork I got a position working with NBC News. I was specifically assigned to Meet the Press featuring Nancy Pelosi and Caroline Kennedy. It was an amazing experience being involved with such a historical event. I also was able to attend President Obama's acceptance speech.

So after missing the first week of classes for my senior year because of the DNC I got back to Marquette and settled in for my last semester. For the few months that I had left in college I got a job as a substitute teacher for the area schools. Then as quickly as it started, it ended with my graduation in December. I was the youngest in my class but graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelors degree in pre-law/political science and a minor in environmental conservation.

And that gets me to now. A semester off. I moved back home to help my mom and save some money for my next adventures.

Currently, I am all set to return to Yellowstone this summer and have already begun planning some camping trips within the park. When I return in August I will be starting graduate classes at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the area of environmental policy. Oh, I also won a trip to Las Vegas and went in March to celebrate my 21st Birthday.

Thats about all I have for right now, I will, however, be keeping up with this blog for awhile again. In the next few weeks be looking for posts about my weekend trip to Marquette that is coming up and my trip to Albuquerque to visit my brother at the end of the month.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Firehole Meadows


My first backcountry camping experience in Yellowstone was a complete success! The hike in was beautiful, we stopped and ate lunch beside a geyser that erupted every 30 seconds or so; it was way better than old faithful! The first 10 miles was mainly up hill, so I got plenty of great pictures of the surrounding area. We saw both water falls (Mystic and Fairy) and between them we only saw 4 other people who were heading to the campsite that was beyond ours.

Our site was beautiful; right on the side of Firehole Meadows were we could see the sunset. We roasted marshmallows, ate our dinners, and goofed off around the camp fire. The night got cold….below freezing cold; I really wish I would have brought my cold weather gear along with me! By morning I couldn’t feel my feet, but we packed up early and headed around our loop. The sun warmed me up right away and we were back to my truck by 11 o’clock (the 10 mile hike took us 4 hours). So over all, we hiked 16 miles in 6 hours…not too shabby!

Anyways enough text, pictures say a thousand words!

P.S. for those of you who are watching the weather for my location….IT’S GOING TO BE 80 DEGREES BY THE END OF THE WEEK!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Hello June 17th….and hello snow. That’s right, it’s snowing again. Love it. Anyways, Jacob, Chuck and I are going camping tomorrow night, we’re going to leave in the morning and hike about 10 miles to our campsite in Firehole Meadows then the next day we’ll hike about 6 miles back to the road to the other vehicle. I’m so excited, it should be awesome. We’ll be hiking past fairy falls, a 197 ft waterfall which is one of the biggest in the park. Once we’re in firehole (behind the upper geyser basin of old faithful) we’ll be able to swim in the thermal water if we’d like to. The entire trip should be a nice 16 mile loop. I’ll be sure to post some pictures when I get back. If you look on the map we're doing the fairy creek loop....