Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Morning Hush

Not what I saw this morning, but here's Chief Joseph Pass, east of Yellowstone, on a clear morning a little over a week ago.

Yellowstone is often a frantic, hot, exhausting place in the summer.  Crowds of people--visitation is up 6.8% this year so far and almost a million people stopped by in July alone--make this a challenging place, what with their vacation mentality (traffic laws?  who needs 'em?).  I love tourists.  I love that they are in awe of a magical place.  I love that they feel the need to stop and take a picture of every single elk and deer they see; they've given full permission to their childlike sense of wonder for everything they see, and in today's world of jaded, hurried drones, that's a valuable thing.  However, for those of us to live and work here, summers can be intensely...annoying. 

This morning, though, I stepped off the bus and walked a few paces to where I had a view of the Absaroka Mountains just outside the park's boundaries.  I paused in the middle of the parking lot, took a few breaths, and just let the quiet of the morning, the cool-but-warm air, and the hazy early-sun lit mountains do their thing for a few seconds.  It reminded me of why I love it here.  Why I'm lucky to work here, and why I love those tourists even in their infuriating ways.  As long as I can retain some of my own wonder and awe for this place, I know I'm good.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Bus was great this morning...but my throat is scratchy and I'm real tired.  Onset of a cold?  I hope not--Aaron, Karen, Brian, and I are supposed to go on an overnight raft trip on Friday!  And I'm organizing it!  And am the only one who knows how to row!  I've been trying to get Aaron to go on a raft trip for about 7 years now...I can't believe this one might actually not happen.  Although, to be honest, working on the house would probably be a good use of my time.  At the very least, I want to get the inside of the cupboards painted so I can put stuff away in the kitchen.  The chaos is growing.  It's like the Nothing in Neverending Story--only I don't have Falcore or Atreyu to help me out.  Where is a luck dragon when you need one?

So...I got back to Livingston at 6:40 last night.  Stopped at the grocery, cleaned up after Ruffers, made and ate dinner, prepared my lunch/coffee for today, watched 1/2 a movie, unpacked a box or two, showered, and went to bed.  Asleep by 10:30.  And still only got 6 hours of sleep, which is not enough.  I'm thinking I need to streamline my night a bit.  No grocery and no movie.  Fit in a walk and a bit of time in the yard or on the porch.  That would be a better evening.  In bed by 9:00 at the latest.  Yikes.  This is going to be an adjustment!

I read a great story on USA Today that explained how you can rent dorm rooms in universities and colleges in England during summer & winter breaks.  You get to stay in awesome old dorms and use their facilities.  For example, stay in Keble College at Oxford and eat breakfast (included in the price of the room) in the fabulous centuries-old dining hall.  And, it's cheap--even for Super 8 style prices!  So, that's going on the list of things I'd like to do.  I SO need to do some traveling.  I'm feeling all antsy and think a nice trip to a big city would really help me out.  And I don't mean San Antonio.  I mean Seattle or New York or even Denver, for heaven's sake!  But, probably won't happen for a long time.  The house is leaving me broke.  Which is ok.  But not helping my antsiness.

I'm trying to be better about posting pics.  Here's one I took early this spring on one of the first hikes of the year.  That's Bunsen Peak in the park in the background.  And the one-and-only R-Dog in the foreground.  Of course.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The House

I realized I haven't posted any pictures here in a long time. BAD blogger!

Anyway, here's the house! (Photo by Amanda Murphy Knuchel)

Mass Transit in Montana!

I feel so hip. So urban. So connected to the millions of people in New York, New Jersey, Conneticut, Massachusetts, etc. that get up every morning and make a communal journey to work. I rode the bus to work this morning and I gotta blew my mind. I was really dreading the bus, because I have to be on it at 5:30 am in Livingston and I won't get home until 7 pm this evening. But you know what? It was so comfortable! And relaxing--I slept off and on this morning between peeks at the Paradise Valley as the sun came up. And I listened to music and occasionally took a sip of my yummy coffee. It's $4 per day, which will save me at least $11/day if I drove my own car. Plus, it's a biodiesel bus so it's even better for the environment than regular mass transit bussing. PLUS, it'll be safe this winter when it's blizzarding and it's safe every day because I won't fall asleep behind the wheel or hit a deer/elk. I am stoked. Yes, 4:30 came early this morning and yes, I'll probably be exhausted by the time I get home. But what a house to come home to. And I get to feel hip and urban every morning.