Stardate 56081.9 (8-19-2003)
The wife, kids, and I went to Yellowstone Park the end of last week.
We had a good time. We drove all over, except the east entrance, which was closed by fire. The kids were most impressed by the animals. There certainly were a lot of bison. It seemed that each time we drove over to the east, we were delayed by bison standing in the road. The cabin we stayed in was pretty much like a hotel room, with lights, bathroom, beds, coffee maker, and more. The major difference was the kids could go out back and play in the trees, chasing squirrels, gathering rocks and sticks, and just have fun.
The geysers and mud pots did not impress the kids too much. I am always in a state of wonder that about one hundred thousand years ago, the area was a volcano. It still is, in a way. The old volcano powers the geysers and mud pots. My kids talk about volcanoes quite a bit, and I tried to explain that they were now in an old one. One hundred thousand years is not all that long ago, geologically speaking. The dinosaurs had been long gone before that.
We took a walk up to the grand canyon of Yellowstone. The kids all had to have walking sticks.
Of course, lots of wildlife. I had to do a lot of talking to convince April the buffalo were not tame even though they seemed like it.
Patrick and Rachel participated in the Junior Ranger program. They filled out a few puzzles, answered questions on what their favorite animals and features were. The part I liked is that in order to get a patch, they needed to attend one ranger lead talk. The ranger was 73 years old, and he gave a good talk. He lead a group of kids partway up a trail. One of the stops looked down the grand canyon of the Yellowstone. He told everyone that the view was the same for your parents when they were kids, and the same for the native Americans before the white man came. He then lead them to a tree where a bear had marked his territory with claws. The last part showed trees taller than he was. He told the group that when he started working in the park seven years ago, the trees were only up to his ankle.
All in all, a very good experience.
There was even a little ceremony and an announcement to everyone in the ranger station as Patrick and Rachel received the badges. I wish I would have known, because I left the camera in the car.
The typical issues waited for me returning to work on Monday. It seems I never need to worry about losing my job, because there are always things that no one else knows how to do. There was not as much e-mail as I usually get, so that was a relief. IT had to search all the laptops because the welchia worm got loose inside the company. The fix for the RPC hole was posted on July 16th. I am puzzled as to why they waited until the worm was loose before updating systems.
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