“Hey, look, it’s a 750-pound grizzly! Let’s go take selfies with it!”
“Predator, what do you mean ‘predator’? They wouldn’t let these things in the park if they were dangerous!”
I know it makes my current job & surroundings rather ironic, but can I tell you just how much I actually hate tourists?
I have to admit to a small, inner, evil part of me that wants to see a 2,200 pound bison launch a 160 pound tourist into next year. I won’t go so far as to say I want to see a grizzly give that same moron a taste of claws and teeth, but…well…
There’s a book up here, one of the few that the staff read even more avidly than the visitors: “Death in Yellowstone”. Of course, we read that book not so much to learn, but because it’s basically a bingo game to see just how many of the fatally stupid screw-ups we’ll witness in any given month.
“Oh look, a dad with a toddler on his shoulders, standing on the lip of a 200+ degree mineral pool — BINGO!!”
I don’t want to talk about tourists. I don’t even want to think about tourists. Nope, I wanna get on to the bit about writing.
Writing about tourists.
Crap, I can’t get my mind off the idiots! That’s what I get for trying to write a blog post right after leaving the store…
Can I point out some of the questions I’ve answered, just today?
No, I’ve never petted a bear…and, yes, I have been within ten feet of one — and I was scared shitless every single time that happened.
No, we don’t “turn off” the geysers at night.
No, the animals don’t get cold when it snows.
Yes, wolves really do weigh two-hundred pounds…and, yes, they really do kill. The words “predator” and “carnivore” aren’t just marketing copy.
I agree, bear cubs are adorable. Their 700-pound, frightened mother, on the other hand, is considerably less “cute”.
What in the park scares me the most? Tourists. After that? Cougars. At least you know when a bear or wolf is gonna try to eat your ass — with a cougar, your first clue is blinding pain…and then your very own entry in “Death in Yellowstone”.
Welcome to my life.
Thankfully, I do get good questions, too — from time to time — and that makes it far more worthwhile:
The coolest thing I’ve ever seen? A bear and a wolf eating the same carcass, at the same time…without trying to kill each other. It ain’t supposed to be possible, but we have actual film…
The toughest animal? One particular young male wolf…he had his jaw shattered by a kick from an elk, and he kept going. He was in blinding pain, but he kept going. He even managed to bring down more elk to feed himself. That was one tough bastard.
What would I never do again? You mean besides walk through the home den of an adult male grizzly? I’ll never, ever touch the Avalanche trail again so long as I live. It might be only two miles each way, but what that little line on the map doesn’t show you is the four thousand feet of elevation gain over those two miles. No thank you…
Closed trails? Restricted access? No, I would NEVER consider doing things like that…**cough*cough**…that would be wrong! **cough*cough** Excuse me, I just remembered, I have to do a thing, over there in a place…I think I hear someone calling me…
I can’t stand to write about how stupid the tourists any longer…so I’m gonna go out and do some stupid things of my own!