Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Season End

Well the season is over now. The summer went by very fast. I really enjoyed myself and I am looking forward to returning next season. I actually left a couple of days early because of a big winter storm coming in. I have included a few snow pix for you.

Over the course of the season I spent many hours roving the sidewalk talking to people and answering questions. At the end of the year, television shows show bloopers and highlights of the year. My season is over now, so I have a list of the dumbest questions asked of me this year. Here are the top 12 dumbest questions. I know that some of you will not understand these questions. I have explained some of them.

Dumbest Questions and Statements of 2009

#1 We are not finding "Old Faithful" on the map anywhere. Can you direct us to it?
(Old Faithful is in Yellowstone National Park, not Yosemite.)

#2 We are thinking about hiking Half Dome this afternoon. How far is it?
(Half Dome is a very strenuous hike that takes all day and extreme conditioning and planning.It is not something that you attempt in an afternoon.)

#3 What time do I need to be here in the morning to photograph sunrise color on the face of Half Dome?
(The face of Half Dome faces west)

#4 We just hiked up the Four Mile Trail. Where do we catch the six o'clock shuttle bus back down to the valley?
(There is no shuttle to Glacier Point. It is a very remote wilderness area.)

#5 I used to come here with my family as a child in the 50's. What did they put in the water of Yosemite Falls to make the Firefall?

#6 What time do you feed the bears?

#7 We're looking for Glacier Point.

#8 Will you call me a taxi?

#9 My car GPS says I have 10 miles left on this tank. How far is the closest gas station?
(The closest gas is 35 miles)

#10 I think I'm supposed to get married here today. Do you know where my party is?

#11 What is the name of the bird I saw over there?

#12 How long is the Four Mile Trail?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Guided Hike Destinations

Here are a couple of guided hike destinations in my area of the park. I guide hikes on four trails, but these are two of my favorites. I stop once in a while and describe natural points to hikers on my guided hike. It's a lot of fun and educational too. One is Sentinel Dome and the other is McGurk Meadow.

Coming Back/Cabin Upgrades

Sorry for the lag in communications. I have been really busy and communication opportunities have been difficult. Well, I guess I am doing rather well. I have been extended this year from Labor Day to the end of October and I have been invited back next year. Yahoo! Since I know I will be continuing on for years to come at this location, I have made a few living upgrades to my cabin.
The flag hanging in the corner was given to me by my son. He was in Iraq earlier this year and he had the opportunity to participate in some way in flying a Predator. This flag was flown on the combat mission over Iraq in which my son participated. I am very proud of that gift. It means a lot to me.

Short Haul Out

One of our duties as Rangers is to respond to Search and Rescue missions. A man fell from a standing position and hit his head on a rock. "He weren't doing too good" so we short hauled him out. That means we called in a medi-vac helicopter to fly him to the valley to a waiting ambulance. My partner was on the ground and I was spotting from above. Next year I will have the credentials to be directly involved in rescue missions.

The Little Guys

Here are a couple of pictures of the little guys around where I live and work. They are small, but just as cool as the big guys. The Bobcat is not really a little guy. In fact he is quite large. Actually I missed the Bobcat. My partner Shannon took this picture.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Pictures...

Just a few new pictures...

The long view is a sunrise shot at 5 AM from my cabin area. The big dome is Half Dome, to the left are Echo Peaks, then Tenaya Peak.

That little pudgy critter is a Mountain Pocket Gopher. I was walking by and it came out of it's hole to say hello. It didn't like my camera lens much. He charged the lens a couple of times, then he covered the opening of his hole. I got the message and left the area.

This is a beautiful big buck that hangs around my cabin. I see him most every evening. He has grown accustomed to me being close to him.

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Cabin

Hey Friends,
Well, I have finally arrived at my goal. I have finally been in-processed as a Yosemite National Park Ranger. Tomorrow I receive my badge. Yahoo! Some of you know how hard I have worked to get here. This is my dream job come true. 
I am stationed at a prestigious location, have a great boss with 33 years experience, I am respected and liked and sought after by visitors. All of my jobs, professions and projects from the past have prepared me for this gig. I love it. I wish I could have done this since I was 18. Oh well, I will make the best of it now.
Here are a few pix of my little cabin. It is basically just a bachelor pad right now. Next years I will fix it up really cool.
I learned recently that my cabin used to be a toilet. The floor has been cemented over. Late at night I think I can still hear toilet type related sounds. Maybe there are toilet ghosts. I don't know. Also something is eating my cabin walls late at night. Many nights I am awakened by wood chewing sounds. I turn on the light and it stops. I can't locate the source. Mouse traps have caught nothing. It's deep subalpine forest. Anything could be out there. Ooooooooooo.

Wildlife Pix

Geology Pix

The large stones on the mountain top came from a completely different area of the park. The glaciers picked them up and dropped them here when they melted.

The gouges in the rock are called glacier chatter crescents. The glacier couldn't pick up this rock so it skipped over it and made these markings.

Glacial polish is created when heavy glaciers move over the mountains for a very long period of time. It literally polishes the rocks as you see in this picture.


There are about 1,400 species of flora in the park. There are about 50 varieties of wildflowers at the elevation where I work. Here are just a few.

Misc Images

Here are just a few of my fun images.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wildlife Everywhere

The wildlife here is really kewl. The deer graze at the front door of my cabin. The bears literally come knocking at the front door. When I pass other wildlife in the forest we just stop and look at each other as if to say, "Hey man, what's happening?" Of course I don't feed any wildlife, but we all cohabitate very well together.

Guided Hikes

Part of my duties is to guide hikes to local destinations. We have six trails originating from Glacier Point, five of which are used as guided hikes. Here are pictures of two of our guided hike destinations. One is Talf Point and the other is Sentinel Dome. The hikes are typically two to three hours long, cover one to four miles and hundreds of feet in elevation change. During the hikes we stop a points of interest and discuss the natural aspects of the resource. On my hikes I discuss geology, flora, history, wildlife and more. It's fun.

Subalpine Flora

There are also some amazing flora specimens in the park. I have added only a select few here. I am in the process of photographing and cataloging as many of the different 1,400 flora specimens as I can find.