Thursday, June 9, 2011

Updates: Beginning of June

At the beginning of June, Yellowstone feels like the end of winter.  There are still trails closed to snow as well as roads.  We did have a few days few days of summer weather though.  Last week it got almost to 80 degrees.  But about two days ago it dropped down to the 40's again and yesterday we had hail. It feels like winter again today.  It's always interesting to go from the hot humid early summer of Massachusetts to the end of winter in Yellowstone, and then a month later back to Summer in the dry climate of Yellowstone.

The rivers and creeks are overflowing their banks.  Yesterday I went to Lost Falls with Amanda and Jan.  When the water recedes the Falls are just trickling down the rocks gently enough that you can put your head underneath and get it wet. But as we got closer to the falls yesterday, the creek became dangerous looking and the falls had hundreds of gallons shooting over the edge every few seconds.   If one were to put their head under these falls, they would get swept away and badly injured.  This is just one example of the park's high water flow right now.  The spring runoff will most likely last until the end of June this year since it is the highest I have ever seen.
I've already gone into the backcountry for work.  A few days ago, Brady and I went down hellroaring trail a couple miles to take care of a baby elk carcass.  It appeared the elk had been killed recently, but the carcass was finished off pretty quick.  We each too the elk by a leg and brought it up and over a steep hill (with gloves).  The reason why we didn't leave the carcass lying on the trail (and it was literally lying ON the trail) was because carcasses attract bears and other meat-eaters that can become overly possessive of the carcass.  When a human (visitor) gets too close to the animal and carcass, the meat-eater can attack because it feels threatened on the human encroaching on it's kill.  We moved it so it would still decay into that ecosystem, but it was far enough away from the trail to ensure more safety for human traffic.
All the roads in the park are finally open.  Dunraven pass (the last one to open) opened yesterday.  So the road south is finally clear.


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Myself in my uniform from a couple of years ago. I wear normal clothes to the office now.