Balcony House by Moonlight


Of course the entire interpretive staff at Mesa Verde National Park was thrilled to be called back to work on October 17th – but maybe even a little more excited than we may have been otherwise. Continue reading “Balcony House by Moonlight”

Trespass and vandalism: civil disobedience, or misplaced frustration?

As I contemplated my keyboard this morning, wanting to write about some recent frustrations, I noticed a new email in my inbox and found my good friend and fellow ranger had already beat me to it. Knowing I could never improve on her eloquent writing and persuasive grace, I thought I’d share her post here. Please pass along her observations with whomever you can. I find them to be very important.

Ranger Kathryn's Arches

Things are quickly going from “okay” to “not okay” in our parks, and it isn’t because of the animals. My friend/colleague in California offers a ranger’s-eye view —

Meanwhile in Death Valley National Park, the tally so far stands at:

– 6 padlocks cut
– 7 closure signs removed
– 3 locks picked
– 2 deadbolts vandalized beyond repair
– 2 piles of poo outside locked restrooms
– 2 big-ass boulders moved aside for a vehicle to drive off-road around a locked gate
– And an unaccountable number of traffic cones and sandwich boards tossed aside or run over by a vehicle

Thank you for vandalizing! Please come again!

Multiply this by more than 400 park units. People intent on getting into a forbidden place rarely stop to consider the consequences of their actions. I fully understand the public’s anger at being locked out of public lands, and their ideological…

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Thank You Mr. Chipmunk (Lessons Learned from Wrecking My Car)


I’m still not exactly sure how it happened. Continue reading “Thank You Mr. Chipmunk (Lessons Learned from Wrecking My Car)”

Climbing the Great Sand Dunes of the San Luis Valley, Colorado


Driving through the San Luis Valley at night can be a disorienting experience. Continue reading “Climbing the Great Sand Dunes of the San Luis Valley, Colorado”

Descending Into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison


The impenetrable Black Canyon – that’s how the park film describes it. Continue reading “Descending Into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison”

[Featured Post] Some Friendly Advice on Keeping Your Neighborhood Park Ranger Happy in the Tired Month of August

These guys did it all right - and you can too!
These guys did it all right – and you can too!


That’s what I think of when I consider the month of August. Continue reading “[Featured Post] Some Friendly Advice on Keeping Your Neighborhood Park Ranger Happy in the Tired Month of August”

Adventure to Chaco Canyon


If you haven’t heard of Chaco Canyon, you should look it up. I mean it. Right now. Continue reading “Adventure to Chaco Canyon”

Magic at Thunder Lake, Rocky Mountain NP


If you have been following this blog over the past few months, you might remember that my boyfriend Austin made a move from a job at the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park (just three easy hours from my position at Mesa Verde) to the front range of Colorado to work at Rocky Mountain National Park (now, eight hours away). Continue reading “Magic at Thunder Lake, Rocky Mountain NP”

It’s World Ranger Day!

International - 07-31-13 - WRD

The following article was posted this morning on Inside NPS, an information portal for National Park Service employees:

Today, July 31st, is World Ranger Day, a day set aside for paying tribute to the work that rangers perform around the world to protect the last vestiges of the earth’s natural and cultural heritage. Continue reading “It’s World Ranger Day!”

Fire, Fear, and Hope: Pt 2


Almost exactly a year ago today I sat at my kitchen table, contemplating wildfire, and needing to write. Continue reading “Fire, Fear, and Hope: Pt 2”