Friday, September 25, 2009

The Bear Who Almost....

So, the other morning I woke up to sound of someone on my porch. I have an old wooden porch and I can always hear when someone walks up, it also doesn’t hurt that my house is tiny. But as I was in bed I was thinking that it was too early for someone to be at my door, none of us rangers who live up there are early risers, or not at least 7:30 am risers and there is no reason to be knocking at my door at that hour. Well, I get up to check to see who it is and as soon as I open my bedroom door all I see is a bear with his paws up on my front door peering in at me! Mind you I have windows in my front door. I think to myself what the hell, and I automatically start running to the front door. By this time the bear has seen me leave, he knows he is up to no good and he takes off up the hill. I open the door and run after him chasing him into the woods behind the house. After that I head back to the house and call the wildlife office and tell them of my almost break by green 75 (the bear tag on his ear). I lie back down and try to fall back to sleep. Later that day the wildlife office calls me back and tells me that the bear had been seen breaking into houses in Foresta, a near by community. During the most recent fire, Foresta had to be evacuated and the bear had a hay day. He was also seen in other parts of the park before he came up to Glacier Point. I was told to hang around with the paintball gun to scare him off if he tries it again. So I sat on my little wooden porch with a paintball gun waiting for him to come knocking at my door again. I haven’t seen him, but that paintball gun is not far from me these days. Just wait until I really scare him off. I’ll show him not to mess with my little cabin in the woods again. Apparently he hasn’t been seen in awhile so who knows where he is. But I’m ready!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tourism overload

Some of you may know by now that Yosemite is pretty crazy, often times a little too crazy for my own good, or any ones for that matter. The visitor levels right now feel as though they have multiplied by 100 over the last week or so. Perhaps because it's memorial day weekend, beautiful out right now with all the waterfalls, or the economic crisis has forced folks to travel to closer locations. I don't know, what I do know is that it can be intense. This last week a women fell off a cliff into this very raging river that is pictured, a certain kind of mood swept over everyone here.
It all happened during a very crazy time; there were two days this week that seemed exceptionally off. Not only did this women end her short lived life in a long standing river, but to top it all off I had two injuries on my tram tours where both people needed medical attention. Fortunately the first injury was pretty minor and we hadn’t even left yet to where someone else could help her out and take her to the medical center. The second injury was all up to me at first. A woman fell off the tram while trying to get off and she fell flat on her back hitting her head pretty hard. Fortunately I have had medical training and I knew exactly what to do. I kept her attention and got all the pertinent information needed so when the EMT showed up I could tell them everything they needed. Yay wilderness first responder, it's already paying for itself! Now this was just all with in the first 40 minuets of the tour, I dealt with two accidents and still trying to make sure the rest of the group was enjoying themselves. After the second accident I was ready to throw in the towel, but we kept going, I started back where I left off before the accident and I hope everyone enjoyed them selves as best they could considering the situation. What a whirl wind of a tour, good thing it was my last for the day.
I head up to Glacier Point this weekend, it will be a slower, a less intense lifestyle; something I can work with for a longer period of time. (Picture by my friend Karen K.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Life, the way it sould be.

I have been living here in Yosemite for almost a month now and it feels good to be back. On my drive in I got the nostalgic feeling I got when I arrived to Yosemite for the first time. The feeling of exploration, not knowing what was around the next bend of the road. Now that I am here and the crowds are moving in as quick as the water I still love being where I am.

Since I have been here there have been a few fun and exciting things happen. First and foremost Glacier Point road has opened and I will be moving up there Memorial Day weekend!

If you don’t already know, there is a 12 hour documentary that is being done on the national parks; it’s called something like “National Parks, Americas Great Idea”. This is a film done my Ken Burns, a very famous director of documentaries. He has done one on Jazz and Baseball. Of course Yosemite is in the film and a man I work with Shelton Johnson is a star in the movie (He is a star where ever he is). Anyway, Ken Burns was here finishing up the film and he gave a 90 min. preview to the film to only about 100 people, me being one of those. We got to see mostly Yosemite clips, for obvious reasons, but it was awesome. The cinematography was beautiful and breathe taking. Makes me what to visit many other parks, perhaps work there? The film will be released sometime in September on a PBS station near you. I’m sure the film will be shown in sections, which are separated out in chapters; Yosemite is shown in every chapter.
It was a great experience and listening to him talk was a great way to understand his passion and obsession for the National Parks.

Besides that I have been filling my time with hiking and work. I can leave from my front door, walk to the shuttle bus and hitch a ride to a trail head. Biking has been a breeze and I walk all over the place, often times walking for up to a couple hours at a time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Its off to work?...

The time is cruising by and I will be too. For those who do not know I am leaving for yet another exciting season down in Yosemite. I know I have said this before, but its crazy how fast time has gone and now I sit in my mostly empty room thinking about whether all my stuff is going to fit into my car. This seems to be the biggest problem I have every time I pack up to go. No matter how well I pack, how much stuff I get rid of, or exchange stuff for other things in neater packages, it always packs down differently. Last year was ridiculous, my car looked like I was moving across town; hangers scattered about, food bags in every corner (thanks to those who bought me canvas bags for Christmas), and things not organized. But I think after three seasons now of packing my stuff and filling my car, I should know how to do it, how it fits, and what not to bring. This year I can only hope it’s sinking in to my head, although I say that with out actually packing my car yet. Tomorrow will be the test.
One really super duper exciting thing I’m taking down with me this year is my BIKE! Biking is a wonderful sport, leisure activity, and mode of transportation, not to mention tons of fun. There are times during the year that I don’t want to hike, but I want to do something, so I’m taking my bike, plus it will be a good thing to have while visiting friends in San Francisco. Every time I ride their bike something always seems to be wrong with it and I almost crash and burn. For instance, the handle bars were just a little out of line, so when the wheel was straight the handle bars weren’t or vice versa, that it very difficult to steer sharp corners with handle bars all cock eyed.
While I have been packing things up and taking care of any loose ends, I have been trying really hard to hang out with my family and friends; quality time is what I like to call it. These times when one can just chill without tons of people around and generally centered around food. Everyone is so great in supporting me on my many adventures, even my mom, although it could be because they want to get rid of me, but who knows. This last weekend it was my dear friend Liz’s birthday and she was so nice to let me share the day with her, with a going away party. Good times were had by all; I think I can say I had a blast, if you know what I mean. Friends from all over, mostly people from out of town, showed up for this joint party, it rocked! The sun even decided to grace us with its presents, which was extremely crucial since it was an outside BBQ.

So as I take off and slowly get farther and farther away from civilization, please be patient with me and this blog. It is not going to pop up with new notes every week, or every other week. I will update it when ever I can, but have no fear it will get done even if it’s not super soon. I’m sure you have all gotten that point by now. Wish me luck and I’ll see you all at some point in time. Until then keep in touch, don’t give up on my blog and come visit.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's over! Now what?

I'm finally done with planting! The days of 5am wake up calls, hiking all over clearcuts in hopes that I won't fall and get a stick in the eye, and 55 hour weeks are over. It's kinda weird not having somewhere to be all the time, or tired at 4pm. In fact I might actually be enjoying my time of resting and relaxation.
I often times go through a little freak out after working intensely for a couple months, mostly wondering what do I do with myself, what is my purpose, and what am I going to do with all my time? Duh that's hard, sleep?
After the first day of being done I had no freak out, I was extremely relaxed, and in fact went for a bike ride and made a list of what I need to do before I head off to Yosemite.

That list is what I will do with my time. I have created many tasks to get my life on track, organized, and rolling, with my Yosemite departure only a month way. I think a better question to ask myself is, do I have enough time to get everything done that I want and see my family and friends before I move? Organizing ones life is no small task. Many of us think of spring cleaning as an enormous duty in which we do every other year or so, but I am working with a slightly larger scale. I'm thinking of what I might need for possibly the next YEAR and to get it to all fit into my 2001 Subaru Outback. I'm talking about figuring out what I do need or not need (The definition of need is up for debate), and re-boxing items in my storage unit, which is always fun in its self (not). I have learned that when you are living out of your car what you need is much different than what you think you need. I think I need more shoes, but when I can't get them all into my milk crate then realize, perhaps I don't really need all of them (Yes, I know I am almost 28 and still using milk crates to move and live out of, but they are very practical, heavy duty, and free if you know the right people). It makes me a much more simple person who ends up wearing the same thing time again and again. But as long as I have my cute favorite pair of shoes. I really know how to prioritize.

It's amazing that the winter has gone this fast, I guess that's what happens when you work all the time and have no personal life, it flys by you. The next thing I know I will be packing up my car for another great adventure!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

When it rains, it pours.

If you don't like the weather here in Oregon wait five minutes. This seems to be very true to word, especially today and this week for that matter. The funny thing about weathermen is that they seem to be right only 50% of the time, the biggest question I have is, what 50%.
As someone who works outside I depend on a weather report every morning. Regardless of the weather I am out there, except for snow, but that is a visual thing mainly. But the morning weather report allows me to gather myself, think about what I will need for the day, and brace myself for a humdinger of a storm. Monday of this week I read that there was a 90% chance of rain, so the good worker that I am I prepaired myself early in the am and dressed myself in my horrible unbreathable rubber rain gear for a long day of rain. When I get to the site where we're working there are hardly any clouds in the sky. By lunch we had about ten minutes of rain and after that it was clear and beautiful, in fact I got a wicked sunburn on my face. Yes, it rained, but nothing that I would think 90% chance would equate to. Tuesday same thing, but this time I was smart and left the rubber rain gear to the truck to hold on to "just in case". Finally today the weather report reads 30% chance of rain, now most of the time I would enjoy the day of no horrible rain gear. But when I drove to work this am at 5:30 it was pouring outside! In fact it didn't let up until after lunch when it decided to hail, then snow, followed by a short visit by El Sol him self, a very short visit.
So, I guess what I have learned about the weather report is that if is says 30% chance of rain it is not necessarily going to rain for only 30% of the day, that goes for 90% also. I suppose what I really should do is just stop looking and come to terms that if it rains it pours and it doesn't really matter what it does, because I will be out there regardless.
For those of you who know about the rubber rain gear I wear you know that it sucks. I would invest in a nice pair that breath, move with my body, and still keep that rain out, but that crap rips in one day out in the field I work in. Not to mention I am not the most graceful when I'm walking around clearcuts, really I don't know anyone who is. So If you have a good recommendation of rain gear to try let me know.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I play fetch with myself for my job!

That is right friends I play fetch with myself for work. Currently in my nomad life I have taken on a job with OSU College Forests supervising a tree planting crew. So, you might ask how I play fetch with myself? Well Since I inspect the tree planters work I have to have some kind of "randomization" to the process. So I tie bright pink flagging to a stick throw it, find it, and inspect the area it lands in, when I'm done, repeat. This goes on for eight hours a day! The job is not exactly difficult in the manor of to hard to think about, but let me tell you on Friday afternoon, in the rain it is very difficult to hike my tired butt to the stick I just threw 300 feet. We work on average 55 hours a week and of that 55 hours 48 are spent hiking around clear cuts. That is also right none of this hiking is on manicured trails or on flat terrain, but up steep, slash covered clear cut units, in all inclement weather. I love my job!
With this job I do get up very early and get a chance to see the beautiful early morning sky!
Any guesses as to what mountains these are?