Saturday, January 29, 2011
A thankless job
Every morning in the winter a NPS worker drives the road from Longmire to Paradise (no one lives at Paradise in the winter). From there NPS workers plow the parking lot and the road to Longmore. Someone at Longmire plows the road up the hill from there to Paradise. And once done, they open the gate just east of Longmire to let everyone drive to Paradise.
Sometimes vehicles are checked at the Nisqually Bridge just before the long hill up to Ricksecker Point and on to Paradise and occasionally restrictions are imposed for non four-wheel drive vehicles to use chains or further restrictions are imposed on all vehicles. If the roads or weather conditions warrant it, they will close the road at the bridge.
But that's not the point here. It's about the driver who has the task of driving to Paradise and after warming up the snowplow has the job of clearing the parking lot and then the road down the hill. It's a thankless job but next time you're there when it's been snowing and the road and parking lot are clear, thank the staff in the visitors center (weekends and holidays) or the NPS ranger you meet.
Having worked in the public sector for 28 years, small thanks from the public are very much appreciated. It doesn't hurt to thank them for their dedication and service for making life easier for you and your visit.