Monday, January 31, 2011

Two Long Weeks

It's been two weeks since my last entry. I guess that's because nothing too out-of-the-ordinary has been happening.

Winter is progressing here at Denali. We're starting to get more and more daylight - almost 7 hours and 15 minutes each day now! It's been warm the past few days as well - between +20-+30F. The Lower 48 seems to be colder and icy/snowier than we are right now. A little odd, perhaps, but I'm not complaining. ;)

Chinook, with snow on his nose. He loves to dig.

Last weekend, I took one of the kennel dogs, Chinook, out for a walk in the afternoon. It was warm enough that we walked up the park road for a mile or so and back without getting too cold. He's a big boy, and I was hoping that he wouldn't want to run or pull me too much, but he's great as a walking partner. He likes to sniff and explore the trail and isn't in a hurry. He also knew I had doggie treats in my pocket and every time I went for my camera, he'd turn to look at me. Word to the wise: never put your camera in the same pocket as the doggie treats. His whole muzzle was in my pocket once, almost before I realized it!


This time of year can be a bit trying for many of us in the National Parks.

Not because of the weather, as many people in the country are facing storms, ice, snow and cold conditions. (This week, their weather is worse than ours up here in Alaska!)

But this is THAT time of the year... when parks start the paperwork and processes to bring back their seasonal workforce. Budgets, hiring, competition for jobs - and competition to hire the most qualified candidates, and planning for the upcoming summer 'busy' season occupy all of our minds. From superintendents to front-line rangers, many of the folks around here are a bit on edge right now.

I have the potential to return to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state for the 2011 season. I also have a couple of other interviews coming up in the next week or two. My stomach is doing flip-flops over this choice. Planning for any necessary travel will have to happen sooner than later. Personally, I don't worry the actual details too much; the choice and timing of these required choices is what gets to me the most.

Not much of an excuse, but that explains my absence the past two weeks. Suffice it to say, the dogs are sweet, the mountains are beautiful, and I still want that little cabin in the woods. I'm just not sure where the jobs will lie this summer.

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