Here's what a park visitor center might think on an average busy day...
8:00 a.m. "Wow! I feel clean! Who needs a shower when you have maintenance folks to vaccuum my floors?"
9:00 a.m. "Ah, it's going to be a beautiful day on the mountain! Fresh snow, light breezes and the sun is shining! Everything I need!"
9:45 a.m. "The rangers are here! My old friends! They all seem to be in great moods. It will be a great day!"
10:00 a.m. "Oh, how nice. Someone came to visit me! [pause] And another person! I'm so happy that people are coming up to the mountain. More people need to get outside."
11:30 a.m. "Wow. What a mob. Those rangers must be popular... Everyone is mobbing the front desk to sign up for a snowshoe walk."
12:30 p.m. "Whew that big group of snowshoers just left. I feel like I'm not so stuffed any more. Now more visitors can come inside to warm up and get more information. I just hope they don't dump more snow on my leather couches."
1:30 p.m. "OMG. Exactly HOW many people just mobbed my front desk? I thought the rangers were only taking 25 people on each snowshoe walk. But I swear there were like 50 people just now elbowing their way through the line to sign up for the 2:30 p.m. walk."
1:45 p.m. "I just heard on the radio: only ONE law enforcement ranger is on duty? And they just set travel restrictions to 4-wheel-drive or chains only to get down the hill. This afternoon is going to be messy."
1:50 p.m. "LE 840 just said a car slid off into a ditch on the way down from Paradise. Let the fun begin!"
2:15 p.m. "Folks are starting to gather for the afternoon snowshoe walk. And the ranger already looks tired! But I can tell that the cafeteria folks still have the coffee pots full, so hopefully the ranger will stay awake through her walk."
3:00 p.m. "Ok, exactly HOW did that girl sneak the snowballs inside me? Really? Dropping snowballs from the second floor balcony onto my front desk causes a mess! As if the rangers don't have enough to keep them occupied."
3:30 p.m. "The count is officially: Mountain 3, folks-with-4wheel-drive-that-think-they-can-drive-on-snow 0. It's a great day! My home mountain is winning the battle!"
4:30 p.m. "The ranger came back! Boy, she looked tired. I hope she got some coffee. Those visitors really can wear you out. The only reason I'm not sagging myself is because I'm made of concrete and steel. If I hear one more person complain that they need to sleep on my couches overnight, because they don't have chains for their vehicles (which, by the way, is a STATE LAW), I'm going to blow a fuse! Come on people, prepare for mountain driving if you're coming up to the mountain in the wintertime! Weather changes quickly and chain restrictions are meant to keep YOU safe!"
5:00 p.m. "I made it to 5:00 p.m.! I don't know how the rangers do it. I decided not to blow any of my fuses, because if I did, the rangers would have to go into the bathrooms with flashlights and get people out safely. And the rangers have enough to do - and are plenty tired already."
5:30 p.m. "Everyone is gone! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."
Spelunking In Snow
5 hours ago