Saturday, May 8, 2010

Doing The Orientation Thing

Have I been merely amusing myself until genuine excitement starts for me here at Katmai National Park?
Of course I have. I have been biding my time, waiting for the REAL thing to come along.
We finally get to the geology of Katmai on Monday.
It’s about time!!!!!

It’s been a really interesting week, actually. I have gotten in and out of the government vehicle more times than I can count. I have walked to and from the park office, and been chauffeured to and from the computer lab for Foundations of Interpretation review, uniform ordering, IT training, the campground reservation system, and basic aviation training (since we fly over water here in Katmai). I have been dunked in the Naknek town pool 3 TIMES while seatbelt-strapped into a lawn chair which was encircled by seemingly miles of pvc piping (to simulate escaping from a plane that has “impacted” water). We were pushed upside down and sideways in this contraption – all the while having to hold our breath for the interminable time of about 10 seconds.

I have eaten the world’s most expensive pizza ($34 for a large pepperoni-sausage-mushroom-black olive) which was also probably the best pizza I’ve ever paid so much money for. I split it with someone and still have some left over. I have learned more about the life cycle of salmon than I ever thought I would (the world’s largest salmon fishery is in Bristol Bay; 50% of the world’s salmon comes from here; every aspect of the biosystem here can be traced to salmon). I have listened to talks on invasive species in Katmai, the SWAN program (which isn’t what you think it is), and cultural resources. I learned that Brooks Lodge is situated right over an historic burial ground of people who fled Katmai Village after Novarupta exploded in 1912 and that a sewer line goes right through at least one grave. I am just beginning to learn of the animosity toward the park service that some natives of the Alaskan Peninsula hold.

Doing the orientation thing next week, we FINALLY get to the geology. YAY!!!!!

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