Posted by: greentangle | June 15, 2013

A Day (and a Week) in the Life

It started out as a typical day about a week ago. A cow elk with her own calf and another she was babysitting were blocking the entrance to the building where I used to work. Employees were taking photos from inside while tourists did so from across the parking area. We all watched each other for a while and then I went to work.

When an ambulance pulled out an hour later, I assumed the elk had gotten someone, and soon a helicopter flew low over the hotel. As I headed over to the post office to check my mail, I saw the often-seen array of traffic cones blocking off whatever section elk happen to be occupying at the moment. But there were more cones and rangers around than usual, and the helicopter was sitting on the boulevard lawn in front of the clinic. I didn’t know what was going on or if I’d be able to get to the post office, but no one stopped me and when I got there I ran into a friend who told me that the people who’d gotten off the helicopter were all wearing masks.

Back at the hotel I got the news that a tour bus which had arrived the night before had several sick people on it. This was the beginning of a norovirus outbreak which has resulted in a few dozen employees getting sick and quarantined. Over the next few days, I’d see security guards wheeling carts of box lunches to dorms, and hear of email advising full-time employees to bring their own lunch rather than use the cafeteria, and that many seasonal employees had bought food in town and were eating in their rooms. For those of us with no other options, the cafeteria was a quiet place. Anything self-serve was removed, so there was no fruit, soup, salad bar, sandwiches, or dessert. That’s still the case but will probably return to normal soon as things are getting under control.

Two days ago I watched an elk walk across the hotel lawn trailed by the smallest calf I’ve seen. My roommate has had fairly close sightings of grizzlies while fishing the past couple evenings. In a couple weeks I plan to go on a group hike to the scene of one of those sightings, a little place I’ve never been with the name of Grizzly Lake.

P.S.  We had snow in the air yesterday.

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