Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Keeping Up

Uh Oh. I may have seriously drained the bandwidth yesterday by sending all those photos. It probably wasn’t just me, but from now on I may not be sending pix with each blog post. However, that means more blog posts! I am going to try and make my posts shorter and more frequent. This may mean only 1 or 2 pix at best each time, however. I know – so sad. But we will endure!

My photos are kept in folders – I download them pretty much as soon as I take them (or at least really soon) and then label each one, lovingly and carefully! I take many more pix than I post. I am so organized it’s scary.

These people with whom I work love games! We played Katmai charades first thing Monday morning for about 30 minutes. If we were a Japanese car company we’d be doing calisthenics every morning. Personally I think it’s a stall tactic by the supervisors until they figure out what to do with us. We also play “Catchphrase” a lot – Kind of like Pass Word but for Park geeks. A lot of people play cards in the evenings but that isn’t my thing. I did get caught up in a card game of “BS” a week or so ago, which turned out to be lots of fun. However, I just can’t get over wanting to go into my room and read.

Actually, I am really impressed with the month-long orientation they give you here at Katmai. It is very thorough and these supervisory folks know what they are doing. After Charades we reviewed “conducted activities” which are different from a formal evening illustrated (Power Point aka Apple Key Note) talk in that we take visitors on a 1/2 mile walk to a reconstructed pre-historic dwelling at Brooks Camp and do an informal interpretive presentation along the way. Again we are allowed to choose our own theme for this walk. Documented human history goes back 5000 years in the Brooks Camp area, with 900 identified habitation sites.

So, besides the extraordinary geology of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, there is the archaeology. I am thinking that a theme for my walk might be along the lines of why Brooks Camp even exists where it does – the historic camp as part of the continuum of 5000 years of human habitation along the Brooks River. It’s certainly no Mesa Verde or Chaco Canyon, but there are visible remains of dwellings (that are just depressions in the ground) called barabaras dating from around 1050-1400 a.d. I definitely need to do more reading if I am going to try and help make any of this meaningful for the visitor.

We also started in on actual “bear management” training – which by rights ought to be called “visitor management” since we do not manage the bears. They do what they want unless they come too close into the cabin/lodge/visitor center area and then there is some mild hazing (“Get out of here, bear!!!”) until they leave the area. All they are trying to do is take the shortest route to the beach or the river and that is often through camp.

The beach and the river belong to the bears.

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