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.
Thanks for stopping by!