Having said Good Bye to a great season in Grand Canyon, having a nice 2 week vacation to travel, we are now ready to say Hello. After arriving and setting up camp here at Yellowstone National Park, we worked in the bookstore getting ready. Today is Opening Day, April 15th. This is also the start to National Parks Week, so we expect many visitors.
Ranger Butch raising the flag
Here is how Opening Day in the premiere National Park, at the icon of Yellowstone, Old Faithful goes for this work camper.
6:30 AM – Wake, shower and coffee. Forecast is for a day in the 40’s, partly cloudy, chance of a snow shower. Should be nice. The maintenance guys have been busy trying to find new places to pile the snow.
8:15 – Head over to the Visitor Center, get the registers ready, a thorough walk through the store, make sure everything is ready. Have a coffee before the doors open.
9:00 – Ranger Butch takes flag out for raising, unlock the doors, ready for the public. The gates to the park opened at 8AM, so the visitors have had an hour to get to us, 32 miles inside the Park. From this point on, the gates do not close, so by open time, visitors will be here.
9:12 – Old Faithful erupts. No matter how many times I see this natural phenomenon, it never gets old. This morning we were blessed to have the other Yellowstone icon, the Bison, walk right into the scene.
9:15 – Our first visitors arrive. These are Park fans, they were lined up at the gate to be the first from very early this morning. We stay not real busy, but steady.
12:00 – Grab my sandwich and a coffee. Put my feet up for a couple minutes.
1:00 – Lots more visitors arrive from all over, some from back in the Tampa area! We get visitors from around the globe, lots from Australia, New Zealand, France, the UK, China and usually Japan, but not too many from there so far. More to think about back home.
2:00 – We have a little lull, Old Faithful is getting ready to erupt again, most visitors have headed out to watch, we have a chance to straighten up, restock and take a breather.
Rest of the day is pretty much routine, answer questions on the Park, the facility, the geysers, the bears and wildlife. Great fun, meet wonderful people.
Maybe not quite routine, around 5:30 a grizzly bear wandered into the geyser area. Rolled around a bit, and just acted pretty photogenic. These animals need to be given a lot of room, so pictures were taken from inside.
6:00 – Close the store, balance the register, end of day look over, restock and head back for dinner with friends.
This is also the time when bison are giving birth, it is quite exciting to see these bison babies, called ‘Red Dogs’, and in the first couple hours, the mama and baby take naps. Then the mama coaxes the baby up on legs and walks away. Here is a shot, just a couple of hours after birth.
Mama and baby bison
All in all, a great first day. Weather was cooperative, visitors were interesting and best of all, we are living, and working in our motorhome and seeing this great country, a park at a time.
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