Mother Nature is full of surprises..the campers behind my house woke up to snow. Hopefully they were smart enough to pack lots of blankets for their adventure, or able to buy lots of hand/toe warmers in my store.
Meanwhile, inside the national park it was sorta impossible to see the canyon through the snow and fog. I grabbed the pictures below from NPS.
I assume that anyone who was waiting for May flowers will just have to wait longer..it’s cold and windy as I sit in McDonald’s typing this. A big tour bus full of Asian tourist arrived just as I came in to order food. I bet none of them expected this snow.
I finished my Pico guacamole chicken sandwich. They musta known I like guacamole because it was oozing out with every bite. Now I am sitting here downloading new books onto my tablet so that I can read later at home.
While warming up some of last night’s chicken, I noticed some elk in the campground nearby. So I went out to see if I could get some pictures with my tablet.
One of my housemates saw the elk early in the evening on the other side of the campground but I didn’t go chasing them down for more pictures.
But I did get to see a beautiful sunset, when I went to take out the trash. I have been here off & on for 11 years, and I am still in awe everytime I see the elk or a gorgeous sunset. I swear that you would think that I have never seen them before.
This week at work, it was fun to watch one of the international girls get excited over snow and the sunset. She ran outside to get pics of both while we were at work. Now for her, snow really is a rare sight. You never know what to expect here. One day it’s windy & snowing, and the rest of the week the temps have gotten up to the 70’s.
Yesterday one of the housing guys, came to tell me and Elsie that we would both be getting roommates on Thursday (tomorrow). So at the moment, I walked up to work to buy some avocado and check my mail…and obviously post this blog. But then I need to get home to finish cleaning my room.
Now usually when you hear anyone say they will be home, you might assume that they will be with their family…people bonded by blood/genetics. Home for some people is the town they grew up in.
I found my home when I was in my 40’s. I unexpectedly found my niche in a far-away land known as the Grand Canyon National Park. In a way I even created a new family unit with my neighbors and co-workers. I had started moving around to different states so much that when I first traveled to the national park for my new job, I had no idea how long I would be there. I ended up being there for 5 straight years before taking a break and going to Alaska. Those 5 years were the longest that I had stayed anywhere for a very long time.
After my time in Alaska, I returned to the Grand Canyon twice for short stays. This year the park seems to be my safety net again. This time I will be working for a new company but I still get to enjoy the peace & quiet remote area of the park, which I love. I will be able to watch sunsets/sunrises without looking over a mob of heads. One of the most amazing sunsets I have ever witnessed was during a rainstorm in that remote area of the Grand Canyon.
A friend took that picture of me at Desert View, in the late Spring of 2014. I was enjoying the wide open space as far as the eyes could see. We were waiting for that evening’s sunset.
I can’t wait to see all the changes at the Watchtower, since another company has taken over it. Actually I have seen a couple pics on facebook but that’s not the same as seeing it in person. I took the picture above with my old tablet (that broke) and luckily had saved it on facebook.
There will be no television and no internet at all in this remote section of the park. I’m sure that nobody on their death bed has ever said, “geez I wish I had more time to watch television”. A few of my past co-workers did pay a yearly contract for dial-up internet when I was there in 2014. But my work contract is only until January 1, 2017, unless a spot opens up that allows me to stay longer. I am hoping a spot opens up because I’m petrified of driving in snow and car-camping in the parking lot during winter would get mighty-cold.
Yesterday after I got out of work, I signed up for today’s mule ride. Guests have to pay $120, employees get a discount during the month of Feb. and only pay $25. Everyone has to get weighed because the mules have a weight-limit. According to the scale that mule guides use; I now weigh more then I have ever weighed in my entire life…including each time I went into the hospital to deliver babies. No wonder they gave me such a HUGE mule.
Here we are near the Abyss. Getting on & off this HUGE mule is not easy. While sitting up on the mule, you don’t get the feeling that she is so huge. Hopefully some-day in the future, someone will invent a padded saddle. My mule’s name is Willow and was told that she is also the mule that they use for alot of kids and just anyone who is not used to riding.
She loved to chew on stuff. She even started chewing on the barn before we got started. and would stop quite a few times to chew on shrubs & trees along the path on the way out to the Abyss. But she was pretty good about keeping up with all the other mules too.
Well I can check this off the bucket list now…and yeah, even though Willow was a great mule, I think 1 mule ride is enough for me. At least until someone invents a better saddle. Man-O-Man am I sore!! Got home over 2 hours ago, and I am still having a hard time moving around. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow when I clock into work at 10am.
My last day of work here at the Grand Canyon is 30 days from now, on March 25th.
I had asked a couple people in the HR department about getting my last paycheck on the 21st…if I checked out early. But they would still have to mail it to me later. So I will just stick with the original plan of working till the 25th, and leaving the park on the 26th.
Yesterday I picked up 2 decorative mailing boxes from the post office. I need to mail out some stuff to Liz. The boxes cost $4.29 each. I’m hoping to mail them out Tuesday seeing as I don’t have to start work until 10:00am that day. This gives me a few days to get stuff organized & ready to ship out. Then I still need another box to send out my son’s stuff.
I also talked to someone who work in the gift shop and found out that he needs a microwave & vaccum. My microwave blew out the light-bulb over a year ago but it still works, so I will give it to him when I go.
Monday will be my last day off for this month, so I will finally go on the mule ride to the Abyss Point then. It’s either do it then or never because the employee discount ends on Feb. 29th. Just my luck, a friend told me that we are supposed to get a bit of snow on Monday.