Two Seasons in West Yellowstone

Man, am I horrible at blogging during the summer! This summer, as well as last, we spent working at Yellowstone Holiday Resort. We are part of a crew of five couples (including the managers) who are full time RV’rs. The resort consists of 36 RV sites, 24 cabins, marina and store. Our duties include office/store, dispensing propane and fuel, renting boats, cleaning and light maintenance/grounds keeping depending on the day. This year we have also been doing some dog walking on the side for a bit of pocket cash. Both seasons we have had great teams to work with, making it really fun.

We are located on the shore of Lake Hebgen, a prime fishing location, fifteen minutes from the town of West Yellowstone and West entrance to Yellowstone National Park. In the early season we regularly see bison around the resort, last year we actually watched a moose swim across the lake and walk across the RV sites! All season we get to watch the osprey fishing right outside the window along with fish jumping, otters, beaver and a wide variety of other birds. We also get to witness quite a beautiful display of wild flowers right around the lake.

We get some really nice perks for working here like being able to use the resorts water craft for free. We take out the 14ft fishing boats to go trolling sometimes and my personal favorite are the paddle boards – Dexter even loves to go paddle boarding! We enjoy being able to fish on a regular basis if we want and have caught some pretty nice fish the last couple seasons! We also have our own kayaks here that we paddle around in. The owners/managers also arrange a horse back ride and cookout with nearby Parade Rest for all of us workers that is a lot of fun!

Last year we spent quite a bit of time exploring in the national park. The park is huge and takes multiple trips to see just the major attractions. Yellowstone really is an amazing thing to see. The geothermal features are so other-worldly! I think my favorite locations are Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone Canyon (the grand canyon of Yellowstone). The drive over Beartooth pass is a must see along with the trip to Cody through the park. We of course have seen a lot of wildlife (from a safe distance thankfully) but wish we had a better camera with a zoom lens to get better photos. We’ve seen bison, black and grizzly bear, mountain sheep and goats, deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, otters fox, wolves, osprey, bald eagles, ermine and even a badger!

This year we have spent a lot more time exploring and hiking outside of the national park. There are tons of hiking trails within a half hour of our RV park. We are definitely in bear country and take precautions when we hike. On one of our hikes we saw multiple bear tracks, including those of a cub. Most recently we backpacked in to a forest service cabin built in the 30’s and stayed two nights in some of the most beautiful country we’ve been in! We’ve also done some camping with friends we made here at the RV park. They’ve shown us to some really great lake and river locations. All of our camping outings revolve around kayaking and fishing so we’re always next a picturesque lake or river.

We’ve also had a lot of visitors over the two seasons. My dad, sister and family, friends from Yakima and Megann’s mom, grandma, aunt, uncle and cousin from California have all come to stay with us. During those visits we did a lot of exploring in the park as well as locally, played in the lake and enjoyed a lot of family dinners. We definitely feel loved having people make the jaunt to come see us, oh yeah and the awesome national park too! You may notice that some of our photos (the better ones) are watermarked “pegZphotography”. This is Megann’s aunt Peggy – if you want to see some of her other work check out her web site.

We have loved our two summers here so it was difficult to not make a commitment for next season. We are going to continue with our quest to see the country by looking for a job in the North-East somewhere for summer 2017. After leaving here at the end of September we will be headed to Eastern North Dakota for about three weeks working the sugar beet harvest. Then it’s back to Amazon in Tennessee for the Christmas shopping season – gluttons for punishment I know. From there it’s off to Florida for the remainder of the winter and early spring.

And just because – national park signs that make me laugh.

 

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