Friday, October 16, 2009

The End has Come: The board is Set: The Pieces are Moving

The end has nearly come! I am down to only nine remaining tours at Wind Cave. That is pretty crazy to think about being finished after doing so many! It has continued to be a lot slower...until today. Apparently schools in Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota all decided to have parent-teacher conferences and not have school today. Well that had a rather profound impact on us since all sorts of families suddenly showed up at Wind Cave! And only Charlie and I were working today so we had to get rather creative in getting people into the cave. Both Mary and Ted (my supervisors) ended up leading extra tours and we switched the later tours to natural entrance tours in order to facilitate more people. All told we took an extra 100 people through the cave in addition to what our maximum number would have been had everything sold out. Pretty crazy!

That meant I did get to do one final Natural Entrance tour, which was exciting for me. I enjoy that tour a lot more and had fun doing it one last time before leaving. I had all kinds of kids on the tour which is very different from what it has been recently! That meant that my whole tour ended up changing and being very different than what I normally would do. I also had several screaming babies on the tour. I really do not understand why parents bring their infants into the cave. What do they think their child is going to do in that environment?! They do occasionally sleep, but much more often they fuss and scream the entire time. Add to that the fact that I built everything up to the point of lighting the candle and turning off the lights in the post office (the first stop on the tour) only to find that the candle was completely burnt down so I couldn't do it! Luckily we do have a second point later on the tour where you can do a blackout and there is another candle, otherwise I would have had a lot of disappointed people! So it was a very interesting day at work today, to be sure!

I will soon be leaving and departing upon a journey that will take me across much of the country and end back in Phoenix. My first season as a park ranger is nearing its completion!

Living in dangerous wonder...

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