Pictured above is what the parking lot at Paradise looks like right now. It's a webcam picture; the road is still closed and I'm at the Longmire office, waiting for directions from dispatch/LE rangers about VC operations today (if the road will ever open). Sorry if the picture is a bit fuzzy; my brain is equally fuzzy right now. I'm in need of coffee.
Some of you may not even need to read my comments today; you already know the special place that coffee holds in your life.
But if you're not a coffee fanatic (or you're really bored this morning), here's what might happen to you if you don't get enough warm coffee goodness in the morning:
1) You might forget the sugar when baking goodies to take to the office. Yes, I got up extra early this morning to make some yummy applebutter bars to share at the VC this morning. I've made this recipe countless times. And many of you know that I can generally follow a recipe; my baked goods usually come out fairly well (no reported deaths since that unfortunate pizza & TP incident in Coldfoot in 2007).
But this morning was different. I attempted putting together the crust ingredients BEFORE having my morning vanilla-espresso concoction. And after the beautiful recipe was in the oven, what did I discover? My measuring cup full of sugar just sitting on the counter.
So my applebutter bars taste like I spread applebutter between two saltine crackers.
I did NOT bring that to the office. I was too embarrassed. I downed my vanilla-espresso in about one gulp after that.
2) If you don't have enough of the wake-up juice inside you, you might just see a peacock walking down the side of the road.
I couldn't make this up if I tried.
After my unfortunate baking incident this morning, I was running late (of course) for work. And thanks to the storm last night, the roads were full of black ice. It took all I possessed to keep my mind on the road and my GSA vehicle from sliding into a ditch.
Most of you know that I live at park HQ, which is a few miles to the west of the park proper. So on days like this, where I have interp duties, I have to drive in to Longmire for work (my regular office is in a building in the HQ complex). So I turned on my park two-way radio, checked the van's tires, brushed the ice and snow off the windshield and set off.
Little did I know that the park's snowplow drivers and their radio conversations would NOT be my morning entertainment. About a mile east of Ashford, I saw this black thing on the road ahead of me. The car in front of me must have seen it as well, slammed on their brakes and slid off onto the shoulder. I was able to slow down and had no problems, but I still thought my eyes were deceiving me. Clearly, one double espresso just wasn't enough.
So what was this black thing on the road? It stood up and the head and shoulders turned a magnificent shade of blue. Yes, it was a peacock. So I'm a park ranger and I'm supposed to know about the wildlife of the area. But a peacock? Really? This isn't the subtropics, people. It's the Pacific Northwest. Or it was last night, when it snowed for hours and hours. Clearly, someone's pet escaped and had now caused a traffic incident. I wish I'd had time to stop for a picture. I'm still not sure I believe my eyes. A peacock in the middle of rural Washington state. Wonders never cease.
No park visitor, they are not native! And no, we won't be discussing them on our snowshoe walk this afternoon.
I'm going to invent a solar-powered espresso machine that fits in a daypack. Rangers everywhere will love me.