On leaving Yellowstone

I haven’t blogged in quite a while (like 1.5 years), and I need to start again before I leave for Australia, which is in 5 days. Yeah, I’m a bit of a procrastinator. But things get in the way, like life.

So to restart my blog, I will be telling you all about my last trip out of Yellowstone. I spent 5 wonderful seasons working in Yellowstone National Park, 1800 miles away from my home in Ohio, and each was very special. The rundown goes like this:

Year

Location

Job

2004 Lake Park service internship in fisheries
2005 Canyon Server at Canyon General Store
2006 Canyon Sales associate at Canyon Adventures
2012/2013 Old Faithful Server at Old Faithful Basin Store

 

I had the opportunity to work at several locations and with amazing people every year. I have so many wonderful memories of the park and my experiences (especially seeing that grizz at the Black Butte trailhead in 2012). But my last trip home was quite memorable.

I was planning to depart Yellowstone on October 1, 2013 with my mother who had so graciously agreed to help me drive home. As everyone knows, October 1, 2013 was a significant day in America in that the US government shut down. I won’t get into the politics of it, but let’s just say that the effects were felt immediately in Yellowstone. My mom and I had stayed in West Yellowstone the night of September 30 with a plan to drive through the park the next day in order to exit via the East Entrance and make our way to Cody. Well, here’s what greeted us at the West Gate in the morning of October 1:

IMG_3877 IMG_3882

It was a massive mess. People, cars, buses, whatever were everywhere. No one was getting in. However, I was not deterred. I simply told the park ranger that I was an employee while pointing to the sticker on my car and we were waved on through.

Here’s what we saw on our trip to the East Entrance on Day 1 of the government shutdown:

IMG_2012 IMG_3886

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And on our exit from the East Entrance:

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On the road to Cody:

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And onward:

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And this too:

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Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota, which I visited in 2012

 

We made it home a few days later, and now I’m frantically packing for Australia.

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