Friday, June 26, 2009

The Big Exhale

Friday, June 26, 2009

The big exhale....Ahhhhh. It is both a sigh of relief and a large gust of wind that characterizes the St. Mary Valley. The relief is that the Blackfoot Confederacy Conference is over. It was an exhilarating ride, but it's nice to be back focusing on our job again. It seemed like everything was paused for four days and now we are back to playing the role of interpreter again. All the interpretive staff are getting their first jitters. They are so excited and so professional that they appear stressed. It's nice to see everyone working hard, but the bottom line is, we all need to have fun too! I think this week was a little of both stress and fun!

I also talk about the characteristic wind of the St. Mary's back. In early June weather reports were stating that the winds were less than average. It was true, there wasn't enough wind. Can that be true? The mosquitoes were bad and the days were hot. It's almost a relief now to have the steady 15-20 mph winds and the strong 30-40 mph gusts that keep the mosquitoes away and the days cool. We also had a very chilly day on Monday. It left a dusting of snow high in the mountains. That's a big exhale for the glaciers...they'll get one more little layer of snow to protect them during the warm summer months.

I guess the big exhale really is just the fact that the season is starting...the interpretive season. Our job is just beginning and it's almost July. But, it's a big sigh of relief to have everyone in a schedule, doing what they need to do, and allowing the lead interpreters to organize again and focus. It's a good feeling.

Oh, and by the way, the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road opens today at 10:30am. It feels early, but I think it's just in time. We get LOTS of questions about the road and LOTS of frustrated visitors. So here's another big exhale....we can answer this question with yes: Is the Road open? YES! Summer must really be here now!

Here are some photos from the Blackfoot Confederacy Conference and a flower photo from my first Ranger-led activity this year: St.Mary Lake & St. Mary Falls trail.

The Color Guard:
I spoke with these kind gentlemen for about 20 minutes while we all waited for show time. Monday was so cold and windy, we hosted the opening ceremonies in the auditorium.

The "Warriors" Riding in from the East:
At the end of the transfer of the straight-up headdress ceremony, the Warriors came riding in from the east.

The Chiefs of each Blackfoot band, after the transfer of the Straight-up headdress ceremony

Sending Down Roots: The Blackfoot Confederacy Conference Lodges & St. Mary Visitor Center

The Continental Divide and St. Mary Falls Trail: A Garden of Flowers

Weather: 40's-50's at night, 50's-60's during the day. Sunny!

1 comment:

Let me know what you think!