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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Four more times.....

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5:43 am - Saturday - September 30th - 39º F, humidity 84%, wind 5 mph out of the southwest......cloudy with rain on the way this afternoon.....forecast high for Gardiner, MT is 56º, and 54º F in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY.  Tomorrow is a new month.....October here we come!

So, Friday has come and gone......just 'another day in paradise' as my good friend Roscoe would say.  For the second day in a row the weather was idyllic......low 60's, no wind, mostly clear skies.....we even opened all the entrance doors for the second day in a row.  The day began slowly, but ramped up to a moderately busy day.....I'm guessing we did over $10,000 again.

I spent the day in the 'Fountain' running the register about 98% of the time while Addie and Jonah scooped ice cream, which was what I expected.  They prefer not to be attached to the register, and that is fine with me.  By 5 pm, closing time for the 'Fountain', the customers had all but disappeared.  

Jonah, Addie and I had the 'Fountain' cleaned and ready for Saturday's business by 5:20 at which time I pulled my cash drawer to count it down for another day.  I'll do that 4 more times, and that is what it has come down to for me......4 more times driving up the Gardiner River Gorge......4 more times driving down.....4 more days working in the Mammoth Hot Springs General Store.....4 more days with our YNP friends......4 more days living in Gardiner, MT.  When we began our sojourn in YNP in mid June the days seemed 'unlimited', but now they have become quite finite.  Soon we will be changing our view without going through escrow.  We will simply drop the trailer on the hitch of the Newell and roll our 10 wheels once again.

With the end of our time in YNP my mind begins to think about what comes next......a round trip flight to SoCal for our son, Tim's wedding, our trip south to the Grand Canyon.....where will we stop along the way.....what will we see that is new.....what new friendships await us.  The future is not yet written, but thinking about the possibilities makes me happy.

We were home by 6:20 at which time I quickly changed clothes and began straightening up the interior of the trailer so TLE and I could drag the artificial turf inside before the rain comes.  It took me less than an hour to clear the rear of the trailer and then it was time for TLE to help me fold up the turf, and then drag it over to the trailer.  In just over an hour from start to finish I was once again locking the rear ramp door, and the turf was inside.  All the bikes are stowed for travel.....there is a little left to do, but that will all be inside the trailer, so the rain/snow will not be a factor.

In the middle of getting the trailer organized I noticed we were the beneficiaries of another wonderful Montana sunset......



.....the end of the season is upon us......Yellowstone RV Park will be closing for the winter in four weeks.....one of the two camp hosts has already departed.  Time is moving forward, life is good and I am content.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

9 to 6.....

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5:40 am - Friday - September 29th - 33º F, humidity 79%, wind 4 mph out of the south by southwest....should be sunny when the sun comes over the eastern horizon.....forecast high for Gardiner, MT today is 62º F, and 60º F for Mammoth Hot Springs, WY.  Beginning Saturday we are forecast to have 4 straight days of rain/snow.

Those overnight temps are getting consistently into the 20's and just over the next two weeks (if we were still going to be here) they will be dipping consistently into the teens.  When I get up in the morning (I'm first up about 99% of the time) I turn on two heaters to take the chill off the coach.  You're thinking.....".....he turns ON the heaters?  Why aren't they ON all night?"....I know, right?  Well, we both like it to be cool at night as we sleep better.  Plus the dry heat coming from any running heater (electric or gas) dries out our collective sinuses/throats......not good, or pleasant.  Anyway, no heaters on at night works for us.....at least for now.

So, we were on our way driving up to Mammoth Hot Springs by 8:15 am.....that's a mostly new experience for us.....we did two 'OPEN' shifts way back in mid June just after we arrived, but for the most part we have been departing for work at 9 am (only a couple of times), or later as we have had only 'MID' and 'CLOSE' shifts since then.  Having to be ready to go to work by 8:15 am means I once again must get up when it is still dark, and means I must go to bed much earlier than the 11, or 11:30 pm I have been used to all summer.  Oh well, it's only for a few more days.

Upon our arrival at work I felt compelled to go outside and take a video of the steam coming off the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces.....the colder it is the more noticeable the steam is.......


.......by 8:45 am we were both at our stations ready for another day in the General Store.  Micheal and I were manning the 'Fountain', and TLE along with Thomas was at main desk cashiering away.  I also put a cash drawer in as I would be relieving Michael for his breaks and lunch.  On Friday I will be the main cashier guy in the 'Fountain'.  Business was slow at first, but gradually gained steam and we finished the day with over $11,000 in sales.....much higher than the $6-8,000 we had done over each of the previous three days.  That is just busy enough to keep the time moving along.  5 pm (the new closing time for the 'Fountain) came quickly and it was time for us to clean it in preparation for Friday.  The store itself stays open until 6 pm, so I had to wait about 45 minutes for TLE to finish her shift and count down her drawer.  Under the new 9 am to 6 pm hours I work about 8 hours and 15 minutes.....TLE's works about 9 hours.....I like my shorter hours, except for the waiting part.

As we were exiting the door to the employee parking lot we were stopped in our tracks by the presence of two bull elk........


......my picture only shows one, but there were actually two two bull elk kind of sparring over one cow.....so we were stuck for a few minutes until they took their festivities elsewhere.  As we waited we could hear bull elk bugling in the distance.....these two were not bugling, but just glaring at each other.

Finally we were able to safely get to our car and begin the drive home.  As we passed the USPS we saw another bull elk chasing a car about 200 feet in front of us.....yup, it is the rutting season!  We were home by 6:30 where we changed our clothes and went outside to begin drying out our artificial turf by turning it over, and did the same to the awning mat I had in front of the trailer entrance.  They will get sun on them Friday, and then when we get home Friday we'll fold them up and put them in the trailer.  All I will have left to do is to organize the trailer just enough to pull it up to Livingston Wednesday....we will not be inserting the VW for the 52 mile drive.

Our last work schedules were posted Thursday and have us working Thursday through Sunday for the current pay period (all pay periods end each Sunday), and then Monday and Tuesday in our final pay period......we leave on Wednesday.  So, we will work 6 straight days to finish out our season here in Yellowstone National Park.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Iconic......

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5:56 am - Thursday - September 28th - 30º F (Brrrrrr!), humidity 95%, wind 2 mph out of the south by southwest....when the sun comes up it should be clear blue skies.....pitch black right now.  Why am I up so early you ask?  Well, today begins our new 9 am to 6 pm hours.  Our shift begins at 8:45 am, which means we must depart Gardiner by 8:15 am, or thereabouts. 

Wednesday would really be our last opportunity to do some more site seeing here in Yellowstone National Park.  The one iconic view we had not been able to get even close to was Canyon Falls.  Every time we would drive by the entrances to the several vista points the traffic into them was at a standstill.  Some of the entrances to the parking lots can be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 mile in length, and the thought of sitting in stop (mostly stopped) and go traffic for an hour just never appealed to us.  We were hoping that this trip over Dunraven Pass to Canyon Village would be different.......and it was.

We left home around 11 am to make the 1+ hour drive over to Canyon Village to first have lunch with our good friend Art Young who is a manager at the Adventure Center store there.  We first me Art at Amazon in Fernley, NV when we worked Peak Season there a few years ago.  We became friends and stayed in contact.  He is the one who helped us secure our job here at Mammoth Hot Springs, and we will be forever grateful.  At any rate, we met him around 12:15 pm at his store and walked the short distance over to the General Store and their Grill for lunch.  We were quickly seated, and placed our orders for food, and then commenced a non-stop conversation for the next 40 minutes before Art had to return to his job.  He is also going to the Grand Canyon this winter, so we are excited that he will be able to join us on some hiking adventures this winter!

From there we drove a short distance south to the 'Artist's Point' vista point for Canyon Falls....as we drove past the first two entrances we saw there was NO traffic......how exciting!  There was no traffic at the 'Artist's Point' entrance and we just whizzed right into the parking lot finding a parking spot within seconds......a few minutes later we got our first view of the iconic Canyon Falls.......




.....we gradually worked our way over to the optimum viewing point, and I have to say it exceeded my expectations by a mile.....it is literally the most breathtaking view I have yet seen here in YNP.....

 




.....unfortunately, the Uncle Tom Trail, which everyone we know says to hike, has been closed all summer for repairs.....I understand there are some 300 stairs that take you right down to the base of the falls.....we will have to return to do that hike in the future.....and we will.....


.....our next stop was the 'Brink of the Falls' entrance where you can hike down from the north rim to stand on a platform right next to the falls.......I wondered how many gallons of water are going over those falls every second.......




.......we managed to view Canyon Falls from every conceivable vantage point....we were literally able to drive into each parking area and secure a parking spot with no wait whatsoever.

Soon it was after 3 pm and time to begin the laborious trek back over the beautiful Dunraven Pass once again......it is only laborious as the traffic can be very unpredictable, even on an off season day such as September 27th.....we stopped near the top to get this pano shot looking southward......again, breathtaking......as you can see, there is still a lot of unmelted snow from our last storm.......





......on our way through Mammoth Hot Springs (a little after 4 pm now) we stopped off at the Yellowstone National Park Post Office to close out our P. O. Box, turn in our keys, and get our $18 deposit back......another sign that our time here is getting shorter!

We stopped off at the Gardiner Market for some minor provisions, and were home just before 5 pm.....another amazing day in Yellowstone National Park!  In fact, what a wonderful three day weekend we had!  I was in bed by 9:30 am in anticipation of getting up by 5:15 am....okay, I need a few hours to get myself going in the morning!

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Good news!

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9:15 am - Wednesday - September 27th - 39º F, 85% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the south by southeast.....clear blue skies with contrails......forecast high for this day is 59º F in Gardiner, MT, and in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY 59º F, also.  Headed out to do some more site seeing today!  Slept in until almost 9 am today.....wow.....double wow!

Well, TLE and I have very big news to share this morning!  I alluded to a new adventure awaiting us for the summer of 2018 (next summer!), and now it has been confirmed.  After submitting our resumes and then doing a lengthy phone interview we have been accepted to work at an RV park just outside the gates of Acadia National Park in Maine!  We will be living about 12 miles from Bar Harbor, and in the middle of one of the most beautiful places in this country for about 5 months.  We're going to keep the name of the RV park 'under our hat' for now, but suffice it to say that this could not have worked out better.  We will be in a location which enables us to explore New England at our leisure, something we have wanted to do ever since we hit the road nearly 6 years ago.  We will be paid $11/hour for all hours worked, and if we complete our contract we will receive a $1/hour bonus for every hour worked at the end of the season.  Now we must fight the temptation to get too far ahead of ourselves.......May, 2018 is still 7 months into the future......there is a lot on our plate before that time.  Nevertheless, we are happy to know we will finally be able to tour New England!

Tuesday was a very, very laid back day for us......we were off work, of course, so we slept in...... 


.....when I stepped out the front door I was greeted by 4 deer who had taken up residence on my artificial turf once again......my presence, of course, startled them, and they quickly made their way to another site.......


.......around 12:30 we began our drive over to Chico Hot Springs for one last soak.....on our way we changed things up, deciding to continue all the way to Livingston for a late lunch at Katabatic Brewing Company........after a brief 5-10 minute stop at a construction zone we arrived in Livingston around 1:30 pm.........

A signal controlled construction zone

.......Katabatic was relatively busy when we entered, but we were able to find a table and quickly ordered.  You may recall that they are directly next door to a good Mexican restaurant, so we ordered from them.....I had their Chile Relleño, and TLE had their Mexican Hot Dog......to chase those entrees we both ordered the Katabatic Scotch Ale, which is still the best of this title I have every sipped!  I love it when we make things up on the fly.....what a great lunch, and I am so happy we were able to visit Katabatic one more time before we depart.

On our way back north to Chico we stopped off at the RV park where we will be staying in just a week to check out the site they had reserved for us.....it is a long 65' pull through, which will be perfect for us.....we won't have to drop the trailer!

We arrived at Chico Hot Springs around 2:45 pm and were soaking in their hot pool within 10 minutes......we only stayed in the hot pool for an hour, but we emerged totally relaxed and refreshed.  On our way home we were stopped once again at the construction zone, but we didn't care......we had received our Maine job offer while eating at Katabatic, and we had just soaked in a hot mineral pool for an hour......no need to worry about a 10 minutes rest stop along the way!

We were home before 5 pm, and relaxing shortly after that......what a great day of pretty much doing nothing, but in the end so much was accomplished!  One more piece of good news......I was able to cancel my DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket without penalty, and received a full refund of what I had already paid.  Apparently DirecTV (AT&T) has decided that they don't want to be on the opposite side of millions of Americans who are fed up with the injection of politics into sports.  Normally, if you cancel in the midst of the season there is a penalty....usually you continue the monthly payments whether, or not you are watching.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In My Life......

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8:27 am - Tuesday - Septmember 26th - 41º F, humidity 81%, wind 1 mph out of the southwest.......cloudy from horizon to horizon.....forecast high for this day is 52º F in Gardiner, MT, and in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY 51º F......no rain in this forecast.

Slept in Monday until almost 8 am.....I love slowly waking up as it gets lighter and lighter inside the Newell.....no sudden jolt of adrenaline caused by the sudden clanging of an alarm clock....it seems so much more natural to awake with this feeling of contentment which comes from a good night's sleep.  As I slowly reach a conscious state I reach across the bed to touch TLE, and the contentment I feels grows stronger.  We have a good life......a life being lived on our terms.  As each year of our nomadic existence passes slowly into the rear view mirror of life we find we are living more simply, and in doing so are learning to appreciate the small things in life that bring true contentment.  

There are no police, fire, or ambulance sirens waking us up night after night as was so often the case when we lived in our 'sticks and bricks' abode......in fact I do not believe I have heard a siren in the past 3+ months we have been living in Gardiner, MT.  There is no continuous hum of traffic in the background anymore.....just the occasional semi slipping into town riding its 'Jake' brake as it slowly decelerates to the local speed limit.  Sometimes it is so still and quiet my ears begin to 'ring' a little.  There is little ambient light at night enabling us to see the Milky Way and the trillions of stars that fill the night sky.  We see antelope, elk, rabbits, and deer on a daily basis in our campground and on our way to and from work each day.  We go to sleep at night to the sounds of the Yellowstone River as it makes its way slowly to ever lower elevations......I feel the breath of the night breezes on my cheek as I drift off to yet another peaceful night of sleep.  Yes, it is a good life......a life filled with like minded folks at each stop along the way.  Some become very good friends......some touch your soul in a profound way.....some teach you to look at the world in a new light.  All of those with whom I have worked this summer are now apart of the fabric which makes me who I am.....I am not the same person who arrived here on June 15th......I am all the richer for this experience.

Will we return to work in Yellowstone again?  I can't say right now.......there are new horizons still unexplored in this country that require our attention.  Will we return to Yellowstone again as visitors?  Absolutely.....there are still 900 miles of hiking trails which beckon us.....how can their call be ignored for long?

Within a very few days now we will be changing our view again........we will attend the wedding of our youngest, Tim, to his wonderful, beautiful, intelligent Laila.  The cycle of life continues unabated......weddings, new grand babies, birthdays, anniversaries, new vistas, new experiences.  Yes, it is a good life......it is our life.


"In My Life" by the Beatles

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Boycott.....

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8:22 am - Monday - September 25th - 29º F, humidity 95%, wind 1 mph out of the south southeast......clear BLUE skies.....forecast high for today is 50º F in Gardiner, Mt, and 49º F in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY......0% chance of rain.

Sunday was a very emotionally turbulent day for me.......if you have read my blog for any period of time you know that I love to watch both college and professional football.  Over the past couple of seasons a few NFL players began to protest during the National Anthem first by sitting during the anthem, then kneeling.  This practice escalated significantly this Sunday with, in some cases, entire teams refusing to stand for the National Anthem, and others remaining in the locker room until after the Anthem was finished.  I have become increasingly disturbed by this show of disrespect for our national symbols, which in my opinion, is entirely based on a false premise.  They have the Constitutional right to protest.....it's called 'Free Speech'......they do not have the right to be respected for their form of protest.  I was faced with a difficult decision......do I continue to watch, and therefore lend consent by my silence, or do I stop watching?  I wrestled with this decision the entire day at work, and by the end of the day decided I would also engage in my own form of protest.....I will no longer watch NFL games as long as this disgusting display of disrespect continues.   Politics continues to encroach into every aspect of our lives.....is there no corner of refuge from the political?  I cannot turn on ESPN anymore without being deluged with political opinions by the nattering nabobs foisting their politically correct opinions upon my soul.  I am boycotting ESPN, and I am boycotting the NFL.  When they decide to leave politics at the door of the studio and stadium I may return.....I don't know.....that is a decision for another day.  Until that day arrives I now have Sunday's free once again.

Our Sunday shift was the 'CLOSE' so, as is our custom, began our drive up the Gardiner River Gorge around 11 am arriving at the General Store around 11:15 am.  Including myself we had 4 workers in the fountain when we could probably have gotten by with 2, or even one for 99% of the shift.  I'm not complaining.....it is the nature of this time of year and the 8 am to 8 pm hours......once we begin our new store hours (9 am to 6 pm) and only work 4 days per week that, the over staffing, will disappear.  

There were brief flurries of activity during the day, but for the most part we, the 'Fountain' folk, spent our time talking about 'cabbages and kings' 95% of the time.  I spent my last 'CLOSE' shift working with Taylor.....we work well together, and when it comes to closing the 'Fountain' and doing the required cleaning we have it down to a science.  Once again it was 7:30  and I was saying good night to Taylor for the last time.  I had to wait about 30 minutes for TLE as her shift begins and ends after mine, but we were on our way home by 8 pm......not watching Sunday Night NFL, but the finale of Master Chef, which was won, deservedly by Dino.

We are off work the next three days, and we are awaiting a phone call from a possible employer at our exciting summer of 2018 destination.  They have read our resumes and want to talk to us......crossing our fingers that all goes well!

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

YNP - 101 Days in Paradise!

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7:49 am - Sunday - September 24th - 35º F, humidity 82%, wind 6 mph out of the north by northwest.....feels CALM to me.  Gray, leaden clouds greet me this morning, but according to the weather guessers there is ZERO chance of rain.  Forecast high for Gardiner, MT is a blistering 47º F, and 45º F for Mammoth Hot Springs, WY.

With the end of Saturday, September 23rd we completed our 101st day of living in and around Yellowstone National Park.  When we began our trek north to South Lake Tahoe in late March the thought of spending the summer in YNP was no where to be found in our thinking.  Sure, we had talked often over the past few summers about the fact we had not yet been to YNP, as well as a number of other National Parks, and I was concerned that we were effectively cancelling out any possibility of that happening as long as we spent every summer in South Lake Tahoe.  Certainly, spending each summer in the Lake Tahoe Basin is not a terrible fate by any means, but that means we will not be spending the summer in any number of other equally fantastic places around this amazing country.  Spending 3 months in YNP has changed our worldview a lot, and now that we have retooled our thinking we are embarking on one new adventure after another with a really cool destination for next summer (2018), which is currently in the works!  For now I will keep that under my hat, so to speak.

Saturday, not surprisingly, was very unbusy once again.  We had the 'CLOSE' shift which had us arriving around 11:15 am.  On the way into Mammoth Hot Springs I stopped to take this picture.....the fresh snow really changes the view a lot..


........just across the street I spied a bull elk in repose......just his antlers are visible.......


........I spent the entire shift on the register, but I did scoop an occasional scoop of ice cream.  Our friends Roscoe and Geni, whose last work day was Friday, stopped by for their last portions of Wilcoxson's Ice Cream before they depart for new adventures on Monday........

 Roscoe and Geni stopped by for one last helping of Wilcoxson's Ice Cream

.......Taylor and I closed the fountain on time at 7 pm, and had it cleaned by 7:20......spent the last minutes of my shift 'counting down' my drawer, and then stepped outside to snap a couple of pictures of the hot springs in the fast disappearing daylight and a crescent moon.......



......TLE spent the summer working side by side with Steven (pictured below), and Saturday was his final day of work.......he is from Atlanta, so TLE wanted a picture with him whilst wearing her Atlanta hat........


......yep, Steven is a tall guy.  He is a high school teacher by trade, but spends his summers working in YNP.....I will miss hearing his booming voice every day, and being around his positive attitude.

We were home by 8:30 (TLE's shift ends at 8:15 pm)......one more day (Sunday) and then we transition to a 9 am to 6 pm shift (starting at 8:45 am and ending at 6:15 pm) for our last week in YNP.  Including Steven, we said goodbye to four more co-workers......Steven, Ron, Mark and Denise.......a few more tears were shed as we exchanged our 'until next times'.......things are rapidly winding down!

We have one more 'CLOSE' shift Sunday, then three days off work before we begin our last 5 days working in the General Store.  We will begin to pack up our 'stuff' on Monday.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Until the 12th of Never......

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8:06 am - Saturday - September 23rd - 31º F, humidity 90%, wind 2 mph out of the east southeast.......heavy, heavy cloud cover.....forecast high today for Gardiner, MT is 46º F, and in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY 44º F.

We awoke to a little snow on the ground and picnic table Friday morning.......the forecast indicated we would probably get snow in Gardiner overnight and we did.......



.......however, I was totally unprepared for what awaited us up the hill......

This happened minutes after we passed through.....photo by our friend Sandi Wescom.....that rock on the right is as big as a car!


......a winter wonderland.........



......no sooner had I parked the car and turned off the ignition than I began to think...."What if it keeps snowing......how am I going to get home?".  We arrived at the General Store around 10:15 am (shift began at 10:30 am) so I walked outside to get a few perspective pictures........


 The 'Grill/Restaurant'

 Directly across the street from the General Store

........then it was time to report to the 'Fountain' for my work day, which could hardly be called 'work'......the 'unbusy' trend continued Friday in spades.......I spent most of my shift talking with my friend Roscoe, and many other co-workers.......

 Sandi, Susan and Kathy....fellow cashiers

 Our zany co-workers (TLE managed to photo bomb)

......many 'selfie' pictures were being taken in anticipation of more people departing our ranks again.  It was Roscoe and Geni's last work day, too.  Our ranks are shrinking rapidly, and the bittersweet feeling of interrupted friendships hung heavy in the air.

Around 5:30 pm (an hour before our 'MID2' shift would end) we were released to go home early.....I was relieved to find our Beetle free of the snow we encountered 7 hours earlier.......

 By 5:30 pm the snow was mostly melted out of the employee parking lot

......I stopped briefly to take a picture of the Federal Courthouse which is the first building you see as you turn the corner into Mammoth Hot Springs proper.......

Mammoth Hot Springs Federal Courthouse

.......and there is also the original U.S. Post Office in Mammoth Hot Springs.....


.......the Medical Clinic........


......and the employee dormitories just to the left of the Courthouse.....



.......and then it was time to make the plunge back to Gardiner for the evening.....

  View looking down towards Gardiner, MT as we drove home Friday night

......we made arrangements to meet our very good friends, Roscoe, Geni and Dodge, at the Rusty Rail at 8:30 pm after they finished their 'CLOSE' shift......


 'Last call' at the Rusty Rail with Roscoe, Geni......

.....and Dodge (Kristen)

......we got a table, then ordered a bunch of appetizers and spent the next almost 4 hours reminiscing and laughing hysterically at times.  Every workamping experience we have had we have made some very special friends and Roscoe, Geni and Dodge (Kristen) are no exceptions.......we will love them "Until the 12th of Never"........


......of course there are many co-workers we will also miss terribly.......Bryan, Caitlin, Paul, Susan, Thomas, Sandi, Kristal, Patsy, Steven, Taylor, Peter, Anthony, A.J., Kathy, J.R., J.J., Chuck, Susan, Mark, Denise, Addie, Jonah, Ron, Richard, and Christina......you have all left your mark upon my soul, and if I had never met you I would be the poorer for it.  Our friend Thomas wrote this great blog post......'Don't You (Forget About Me)' which perfectly describes how we all feel about each other......please take time to ready this beautifully written piece!

So, until next time, or the 12th of Never........whichever comes first.........

Thanks for stopping by!


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Friday, September 22, 2017

Last day of 'Summer'.........

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(CLICK TO ENLARGE PICTURES)

7:42 am - Friday - September 22nd - 33º F, 94% humidity, wind 4 mph out of the north by northwest......heavy cloud cover......snow on the ground......


.....and it is beginning to snow again......forecast high for today is 48º F in Gardiner, MT, and 43º F in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY with more snow over the next few hours.

Thursday began wet and cold, and continued that way all day, into the evening and all night long.  Fortunately here in Gardiner any snow that fell did not stick, but some of it did up in Mammoth Hot Springs, however, by the time we arrived it had melted.  Nonetheless, it was quite cold up there all day never getting into the 40's on the last official day of Summer.

We had the 'CLOSE' shift Thursday which had us arriving at the Mammoth Hot Springs General Store around 11:15 am.  We arrived to a very quite store......very few customers, and for most of the day the employees outnumbered the customers.  I was the cashier in the 'Fountain' for my entire shift and did not scoop a single scoop of ice cream for my entire shift.

We said our 'until next times to three more of our fellow co-workers with 5-6 more leaving in the next few days.  We are now short timers too.....our last work day will be October 2nd which is just over a week away.....WOW!

I worked most of my shift with my good friend Roscoe, and we spent a lot of time talking about our summer, and the friendships we had formed.  This was the first workamping experience for Roscoe and Geni and in the end they came to the same conclusion we did years ago.......in the end it is the people we meet and befriend along the way which is the best thing about this nomadic life.

We were on our way home shortly after 8 pm and by 8:15 were enjoying the sound of rain on our aluminum roof......wondering if we would wake up to a fresh snowfall.....thanks for stopping by!

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