You’ve heard about Tent Rocks, but now it’s time for news from the park.
There is a bear about at Hyde. Thursday he ripped open the dumpster behind the lodge and carried two trash bags full of deliciousness up into the woods to gorge himself on. Some folks saw him that day. At some point that day he was spotted down at Black Canyon Campground, which is about a quarter mile from Hyde.
Friday he made his major appearances, first by coming in to the GIGANTIC event happening (there are easily 40 cars and 20 tents) down on Group Site 1. Later in the day, he was spotted up by the tire ripper gate that marks the exit of the main campground loop (we live in that loop). Ranger Travis tried to scare him away to no avail. He gathered up some kids who hadn’t seen him and waited him out. Eventually he woofed at Travis and ran across the road and up into the woods (where our usual hike goes) right behind Travis’ campsite and past his family! He honked the truck horn in the hopes that he’d take off. He did get some decent pictures of him and he and Bryan let campers know to be aware.
I volunteered all day on Saturday and there were no sightings. I got up as Bryan got ready for work, got my volunteer garb on, and did my rounds checking permits. I did not get attacked by any dogs, but I did bust a number of people without permits or with day permits even though they obviously slept in the park. I made my notes, gave them to Bryan, and got a ride back to the campsite. I did some laundry, a bunch of dishes, and then Bryan picked me up for duties in the visitor’s center. Some really uptight camp volunteers recently left the park (this is their third park of the summer!) because they couldn’t run the entire park their way. Anyway, that means that it’s only me and Carla, Travis’ wife, volunteering, so I decided to work the visitor’s center for the day. I brought my work and got a little bit done, but a lot of people came in. It was fun hearing where people are from and suggesting hikes, and it was even more fun talking with Bryan over the radio. I was having flashbacks from our time in Vermont. This time Bryan said I couldn’t have a fun handle: I was just VC, for visitor center. BORING. Here are the sites from the VC:
Isn’t it cute?!
One of the perks of working at the park is that people are always offering you food and (non-alcoholic) drinks. Whenever Bryan collects money at the group sites, they usually invite him back for lunch or dinner. Yesterday he got burgers, in tortillas instead of on buns (yum) and brought me one from the karate group on site 1. He was offered frito pie on Friday and passed it up for my quesadillas. I think he’s insane because frito pies are his favorite, has hasn’t had one all summer, and they were to be made by a New Mexico woman. He really screwed that one up. Luckily, Marcos is generous and he brings in home-cooked New Mexican meals to share.
When we made dinner last night, we radioed Kelly, the superintendent, that the yurt people were having pasta. He took his dinner break with us and he is so freaking great. We had some good laughs and told some stories about adventures, his former parks, crazy campers, etc. He made sure to tell us that he hopes we come back and do this again!