Home Page Start |  Previous |  Next  

Page 3


Following 2-1/2 days of training, we moved down to Grant Village, located on an arm of Yellowstone Lake.

our campsite
Our employee campground wasn't fancy, pretty much a long dusty road with campsites on either side, but at least the sites had full hookups (electricity, water, and sewer).
Our site had a nice view of lodgepole pines out our back window.  We're lucky that the site next to us was vacant, giving us a little extra breathing room.

As the summer got hotter and drier, numerous wildfires sprang up in the park. On the very day we started to work at Grant, the Park Service instituted a ban on open fires because of the tinder dry conditions. Two major fires along the east side closed the entrance road from Cody, WY, and threatened to close the Fishing Bridge campground on the northeast corner of the lake. No other accessible areas of the park were threatened that summer.

rainbow 2
Upon our arrival at the employees campground late in the day we were greeted with a heavy downpour, which produced an intense rainbow as it moved on to the east over Yellowstone Lake.  Devastation from the major fire which burned over 36% of the park in 1988 is still evident.
In this wider angle view, smoke plumes can be seen rising from the fires on the east side of the park, completely obscuring any view of the high mountains our co-workers assured us lay beyond the lake..

A helipad at the end of our employee campground was being used to airlift food and equipment to the firefighters at the front.  Right after we arrived, the decision was made to put in a second pad and build a base camp for firefighters here.
Smoke plumes from the east Yellowstone
fires visible across Yellowstone Lake.

flare up
flare up
Dimly seen through the smoke and haze, trees bursting into flame sent flare ups many feet into the air.

They put us to work at the registration desk the next two days, so starting from our initial orientation, we worked 6 straight days. On our first day off, it was time to go buy some groceries. Unlike home, where this can be done fairly easily, here it is necessary to drive out of the park to find a decent grocery store. Grant Village is nearest the south entrance to Yellowstone, so we headed south to Jackson, WY, about an hour and a half away. Jackson is located beyond Grand Teton National Park, so normally some outstanding mountain views are seen on this drive. Unfortunately, smoke from the east Yellowstone fires had reached down there too, and we could barely make out the magnificent Teton range across Jackson Hole Valley.

teton view obscured by smoke
View of Grand Teton from Snake River Overlook, nearly obscured by smoke from the Yellowstone fires.

Continue ...

Text and images Copyright © 2003, F D Wilson

  Home Page Start |  Previous |  Next