mountain lions and ranger bryan

Yesterday Bryan started work. He ended it with plates full of chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, and hamburgers. 

The lodge, which is stunning, basically books weddings every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Yesterday the father of the groom was a caterer from Minneapolis :-) and there was a lot of food left over, so Kelly the Sup. took all the leftover pulled pork for ranger lunches. Sweet. When Kelly dropped Bryan off at the yurt after the long commute, they came bearing food to share. Score! 

The first day was interesting, despite the focus being on a 5 hour, online defensive driving course. In addition to what I can guess was some scintillating reading material, he also fielded phone calls, sold park passes, and got to overhear the immense patience of Kelly, park superintendent extraordinaire! 

A few tidbits from the new gig:

-When Bryan took the driving exam last week (online) he encountered ridiculous questions like this:

     1. It is okay for me to transport one twelve pack of light beer in the trunk of a New Mexico state vehicle…

          a. Always

          b. Never

          c. Only if it is after work hours

          d. light beer?

For real. He said on every question, one of the answers was a joke. I want to meet whoever wrote that test and give them a high five for making bureaucratic bullshit a tiny bit fun. 

-Kelly said this winter there was a mountain lion living up the waterfall trail in the park. We’ve walked up there a few times this summer and it’s pretty secluded and definitely looks like somewhere a mountain lion would perch (right before it jumps on you, scrapes your skull, and bites your jugular).

-People are imbeciles. Exhibit A: Kelly got a phone call yesterday that went like this: “Hi. I left my backpack up on one of the overlooks on the way to the Ski Basin. Can you go up there and look for it for me?” When Kelly explained that that area is miles outside of Hyde State Park’s jurisdiction, the guy asked if he could just send someone up there anyway. Kudos to Kelly for not hanging up on the guy and politely giving him the Espanola district office number. I guess he said something like, “Well, I wouldn’t really count on getting it back though. When people find stuff up here, it usually becomes their’s.”

-Kelly said there is a fire going over on the next mountain range, likely the Jemez range, we figured. When we were coming back from rafting, we did see smoke coming off a mountainside, and then yesterday afternoon the whole sky was full of smoke. You could even smell it in the air and it blocked out the afternoon sun. Hopefully it is out after last night. There isn’t smoke in the air today, but maybe the wind shifted directions. Several summers ago, they did have to close the entire park and road up to the Ski Basin because of fires, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Smokey the Bear protects the Santa Fe National Forest! 


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