|Our Nation's First National Park|
I work for a private tour company based out of Cody, Wyoming which is 52 miles from Yellowstone's East Entrance. Our company specializes in small tours ( less than 12 people) and we provide lots of great information to help our guests learn about the park and appreciate it even more. Our work is referred to as "environmental interpretation" which means we tell the stories of the resource (Yellowstone) in such a way as to make intellectual and emotional connections with the listener. I like to say I turn the facts of Yellowstone into the stories which cause my clients to learn something new, deepen their understanding of the park and awaken their sense of wonder. I feel like I'm writing every day, only none of my words end up on paper!
|Our company - yLoop Road Trips|
Taking technical subjects like the complex geology of Yellowstone National Park and unwrapping it like a gift until the heart is revealed, is the cornerstone of environmental interpretation as well as any good writing. I love having folks tell me, "Oh, so now I understand how a geyser works!" Understanding leads to greater appreciation.
|Grand Prismatic Spring|
|Old Faithful Geyser|
What are my days as a tour guide like? First of all, they're LONG days! I report to work at 7:30 am and am usually not home until after 8:00 pm. I get the vehicle ready, pick up our lunches, pick up the passengers and we head out on a glorious adventure to our nation's first national park! Seeing the sights and wonders of Yellowstone never gets old. I've seen Old Faithful erupt countless times and each one is amazing.
|Artist Paint Pots|
|Mammoth Hot Springs Terrace|
Throw in some great attractions like Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone and the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces and you've got plenty to do!
Not to mention lots of wildlife viewing! Here are some photos of wildlife from this year.
|Grizzly rolling in the last snow of spring|
|Bison crossing the Lamar River|
My summer job definitely has an impact on my writing. First of all, because my days are so long, I don't get a chance to write much during the summers. But I've had a couple of ideas for a middle grade novel set in Yellowstone and I want to write some nature-related non-fiction picture books. Who wouldn't when you're surrounded by so much nature?!
|Grizzly digging for roots, mice, whatever it wants!|
My son asked me last year, "Do you really enjoy doing these tours?" My response was, "For me, going up into Yellowstone every day is not a problem!" I find peace and contentment just being present in such an amazing place. Along with writing, being an interpretive guide feeds my soul. That's what makes both interpretation and writing my careers, not just my jobs!
|Lamar Valley early summer|