Saturday, May 29, 2010

Big Plot Twist

What do you think? Am I still in Bozeman? On my way to Duluth? Boston? Read on.

It was snowing when I left Bozeman this morning on the Yellowstone bus, but it didn't last long. A big beauty of a mountain dominates the first half of the drive from Livingston toward the park. There was some occasional white water in the Yellowstone River but it mostly looked placid.

Two busloads of us pulled into Gardiner to fill out paperwork; I was one of the first off the first bus and joined a long line already there. It took me an hour to reach the person taking IDs and he handed me a note to call someone as soon as I got there.

So I did and was offered an accounting job at Mammoth Hot Springs which I took without knowing the pay or the end date, and knowing that I'll be spending a lot of time on the phone, something I don't enjoy. But because the paperwork obviously isn't done, I still had to come to Canyon so I'd have a place to sleep and eat. The food so far hasn't been great and I've got little appetite, but I've seen the 20 day menu cycle and to my surprise there is tofu and even tempeh on it. I got placed in a room here which already had someone for a couple days so I'm stuck with the top bunk and he doesn't seem thrilled with my presence. I should be out of here this week though, so I'll get through it. I've just made a little nest of sheets and blanket--won't even bother making the bed.

On appearance I'm not sure I made the right choice. The Canyon area is surrounded by trees so I have no idea where the actual canyon is yet. I thought Mammoth would be a lot flatter than it is; it's also pretty stark with some big mountains around--might leave me claustrophobic and still not wanting to hike in the area.

There were elk lounging on the grass at Mammoth, and I saw bison in a couple spots. From the bus we saw a grizzly with four cubs romping. Pretty damn impressive introduction. Have ridden through areas which burned in the big fires, past smoking pools and creeks, between some spectacular mountains. You could pretty much just click your camera constantly here but I haven't yet and not sure when I will.

I'm going to training at 8:30 tomorrow morning but when I tell them I'm leaving (I was told it would be Thursday at the latest) I'm not sure if they're going to have me do anything or if I'm going to be sitting here until I leave. And I also have a debit card and two books headed here midweek which I hope I'll get eventually.

So, I'm here in a temporarily awkward and uncomfortable position for an unknown period of time and wondering what to do with myself since I'm not going to bother unpacking or settling in. Maybe I'll go see if I can find the canyon, although it sounds like it's raining.



Judy said...

Wow! You're in Mammoth? There are pros and cons to the place, but probably better than Canyon. It's very small there and full of drunk kids. On the other hand, there is a lot of wildlife in that area. Sometimes getting to the cafeteria is difficult because Bob the Bison and his friends are in the way. The food at the EDR is better. I met Karl, the chef and he cares about what he does. Also, a lot of managers eat there, so they try harder. I was pulled out of the HR line too for the front desk job. I hate it sometimes, but accounting won't be guest oriented. Might be good. I have a friend there, Ken Paules, and older man from Pennsylvania. He is working at the Grill, I believe. He is hurting for some adult company. He is a great guy. His roommate is Bill who works in reservations. Bill drinks too much and snores. Maybe you and Ken would hit it off as at least intellectual companionship. Sounds interesting. Can't wait to hear how it goes for you. I'm sure I will meet up with you in Mammoth before I leave. Good luck.

Judy said...

p.s. Mammoth is also good for being close to Gardiner. Fun place to hang out when you need some mini civilization. All the folks down there are nice. Wish I was working and living there instead of here.

greentangle said...

Not there yet, but the sooner the better so I can finally unpack as much as I. Was told it would be Thursday at latest; I hope it's much sooner. Upper bunk beds are not something a man of my age and weight should experience in the middle of the night. I hope they're not at Mammoth too. Do you know, Judy?

And actually the job will be completely guest oriented--unhappy and confused guests trying to figure out what they were billed.

Judy said...

We had bunk beds in our room at Bitter Root but they can be taken apart. So we have them separated. Depends on how much room you have. I was in one dorm at Mammoth and there was room for the beds apart. Customer service....whee. Might be alright. Do you see them in person or over the phone?
I wonder if they have to fire someone before there is room for you? Sounds interesting. There is another dorm that I didn't the inside of and it didn't look so great. There are cabins, I believe for managers, but they are probably full. Lots of luck. Like I said, the food is better.

greentangle said...

I was told it's phone which make sense since they'll probably be far away before they get their credit card bill for all the separate things they did in the park. I'm ready for the better food. They don't have actual plates do they? Eating off these trays kind of creeps me out.