on the fence/the grumbler


I’m uncertain whether or not I should go work for Yosemite.  Yes, it’s an amazing park.  But I’d be in the valley floor the entire time and all the crowds, and concessions, and heat, riding in a tram.  I of course initially started this park ranger thing because I love the wilderness. I then became a competent interpreter and loved talking to the people, and enriching their experiences.

On the one hand, tram tours are everything I stand against in parks.  The microphones are obnoxious and parks are meant to be explored, not toured. On the other hand, as a friend points out, the tram is a good way her grandmother can experience the park without having to physically exert herself.

I’d also have to live separately from Esposo (park housing is not available for families).  But maybe I could find something once there…will see.

I am passionate about reaching as many people as possible. Yosemite is a high profile park, would be good on a resume, and it is only 3 months. I can still go onto my PhD program after that. I can still choose to do other things with my life. I can say “I worked in Yosemite once…” along with “I worked at Mount St Helens” and Manzanar, and Kilauea Point.

I do still have the uniforms, and what else would I do this summer except do my independent contracting from home and bitch about how hot it is?

I could still do a job I love. So few people to talk to about it since most of my friends don’t work for parks, and those that do are crazy for about any opportunity that comes their way.

Wow, do I sound like a grumbler.  But if you’ve seen the Yosemite Valley in summertime you’d get why.  Also, for those people who haven’t worked in parks, there are downsides, the wool/poly summer uniforms being only the most minor of irritations…I won’t go into too much here as I do enjoy working for the NPS, mostly.  Suffice it to say there is bureaucracy, like anywhere else, but on a government level.  There’s a reason I don’t have a permanent position yet, despite having a Master’s and getting 5 star reviews on every single one of my employment assignments.

I’ll have to call by tomorrow morning and let her know…sigh.