Rain, Rain and a brief park visit

Since we arrived in West Yellowstone, MT three weeks ago, it has rained every day.  The locals are happy about the rain, as they did not have much snow this winter.  As many have put it, more rain in May means less smoke (forest fires) in August.  I’m thinking it will be a bumper crop for mosquitos this summer!

The forecast for this past Sunday indicated it would be nice until the afternoon, so we decided to get up early and head over to Yellowstone National Park for the morning.  We got up bright and early….to thick fog!  The best wildlife viewing is early morning or just before sunset.  We decided to wait a few hours for the fog to lift, so we were not expecting to see much wildlife on this visit.  Since we are here for the Summer, we have decided to do the park in small sections.  The park is divided into eight sections, and we decided to head to the Canyon Village area, to view the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, along with the Upper and Lower Falls.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

The canyon is over 24 miles long, and is continuously changing, due to wind, water, earthquakes and other natural occurrences.

Along the way to several viewing positions, remnants remain of the glaciers that melted over 10,000 years ago.  This boulder, as big as a small home, remains nestled in the pine trees.

glacier boulder

glacier boulder

At 308 feet, the Lower Falls is the tallest waterfall in Yellowstone National Park.

Lower Falls

Lower Falls

The Lower Falls

The Lower Falls

The Upper Falls, is named because it is at a higher elevation on the river.  However, the waterfall is only 109 feet.

The Upper Falls

The Upper Falls

We did stop and view one geyser on our way to the Canyon Village area, but I forgot to take a picture of the sign, so I have no idea what this one is called.  It was very small and all by itself.

unknown geyser

unknown geyser

The highlight of the day was encountering two beautiful Elk that were hanging out near the parking lot by the Upper Falls viewing area.  Elk shed their antlers late March thru April, and then begin re-growing them almost immediately.  They can grow as much as 2 inches per day.  They are velvet covered during the period of growth, and by summer the blood flow stops to the antler, and it hardens.  The Elk scratch their antlers along trees to scrape off the velvet.

Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Hello!

Hello!

We are very excited about having the entire summer to take our time exploring the park.

Quote for the day:  “Think of your life as a waterfall; it may come crashing down at some point, it may have it’s ups and downs, but in the end, it will continue to flow.” – unknown

Back to Work – our summer home

After our unexpected delay in Rapid City, SD to repair Dan’s truck (under warranty yay!), we spent the next two days travelling to our summer job in West Yellowstone, MT. It was a beautiful drive, and we knew our destination was ahead when we hit this sign.

Welcome to Yellowstone

Welcome to Yellowstone

We were pleasantly surprised by the town of West Yellowstone, population 1300, located at the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. For such a small town, it has a lot to see and do in the area, besides the big park. We feel this will be a good summer for exploring.

There are a few RV parks in town, but they charge very high daily fees. As such, work campers are usually tucked away in spots throughout the town that locals rent out to businesses. If you drive around and look in the alleys, you will see RV’s tucked all over town. We are on the edge of town, in a quiet area, with one other RV. It is not a glamorous spot, but it has 50 amp full hook-ups, and will be free, to us, for the entire summer.

our 'spot'

our ‘spot’

Across the street from our spot, is US Forest Service land, which has some nice trails and a place to let Makena play off leash.

place for Makena

place for Makena

And beyond the forest, lies a beautiful view!

view for the summer!

view for the summer!

The day after we arrived, we started our summer jobs. We will be working at Homeroom at Madison Crossings, a cabin decor gift shop. There is one other work camper couple, Tom and Ellen, that recommended the job to us.

Tom and Ellen

Tom and Ellen

The building was the old school in town. Originally built in 1918, it was a 3 room school, and expanded over the years. In 1954, a gymnasium was added on, and that is the location of the gift shop. It remained in use until 1992, when a new school was built. In 1993, an elevator and 2nd floor was added to the gym. The floor, wood beams, and two of the lights are original to the building.

Madison Crossings

Madison Crossings

Homeroom at Madison Crossings

Homeroom at Madison Crossings

view from 2nd floor

view from 2nd floor

Down the hall is the old gym (a “half court gym”) and the stage.  Today it is used for banquets.

half gym & stage

half gym & stage

For those curious about work camping and what it pays, we will be making $9.00/hour, with a 50 cent an hour completion bonus for every hour we work. In addition, we will receive free access to the fitness center in the building, ($40/month value), and our site is free, including electric. We will also receive a discount on any purchases we make in the store as well as the restaurant that is in the building.

We already had visitors! George and Laurie (Owens on the Road) stopped by for a visit on the way to their summer job in Montana. It was great getting caught up with some fellow Amazon workers. We will be working Wednesday through Saturday, eventually working 10 hour days once the tourist season gets in full motion.

George and Laurie

George and Laurie

The store sells many items, including a variety of signs. I took a photo of one of the cute signs, and that will be the Quote for the day:

Quote for the day

Quote for the day