On this quiet fall morning as I walked to breakfast, another employee said, "This place sure is nice when there's no one here." So true. This is when it becomes our Yellowstone. As the ghost town atmosphere has increased with the closing of the hotel and dining room and resulting departure of most of the tourists and employees, my deepest appreciation has also increased. The silent beauty can be more easily heard, the patch of golden aspen sets off the dark green of the fir and spruce, the smell of autumn engulfs.
There's a common Yellowstone adage that employees put up with the summer here so they can live here the rest of the year. Often in my life, I haven't been a very happy man, and I was getting close to the end a couple years ago before this place saved me with a series of improvements--a bad job which served as something new to wait for, which turned into a much better job when I got here, followed by a second job so I could spend more time here. And now for forty-six weeks of the year, I live in Yellowstone National Park. Then I go on vacation for six weeks! What a freaking lucky man I am.
A few Then & Now photos.
6/2/10 Notice all the orange color under the three trees.
10/16/11 This is what makes people think the hot springs are dying out. In fact, what actually happens is that the water reaches the surface in different locations causing color changes as the thermophiles live in the hot water.
5/31/10 I took that photo of my dorm on my first day here. I had no idea I'd wind up spending time in the car which belongs to a coworker and hiking friend.
10/7/11 The remodeling finally ended in September resulting in a dorm which looks just like all the other buildings here instead of old and funky.
As I spend more time here and the place becomes more of a home rather than a dream/fantasy, the never seen sometimes becomes the commonplace. I haven't taken as many photos of the terraces this year and hardly any of the elk. Here's a couple recent ones.
One last look. I'll be leaving Thursday morning, but right now I'm just waiting for Tuesday night when I'll find out if Yellowstone will possibly have one more big improvement in store for me when I return. I dare to think she might. An update on that as well as the fantastic music I've discovered in recent weeks over in the other place at the end of the week.
Floating Along in the Sunlight...
21 hours ago