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.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Updated Weather Sites

I have added four NPS weather sites to the weather map Web page. These are the Carbon River Ranger Station, the White River Ranger Station, the Paradise Visitors Center station (above the center off the Glacier Vista trail, and the Sunrise Ranger Station. This last site is a seasonal station, operated from the opening in the spring to the closing in the fall, and only in the winter when the phone line works.

There are now 10 weather stations in the NP for people to get some idea of the weather in the NP. And while the stations are operated by different federal government agencies for different purposes collecting different data, they're still useful for planning and preparing for your trip and visit to the NP.

Please let me know if you have any questions, problems or suggestions for the weather Web pages.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January stuff and more

I forgot to write I posted the January news, access and conditions Web pages. In addition I added the sun/moon times for 2011 (all months). There is still a lot small things, let alone the larger and really big tasks, to do, see list of them.

Outside of that, there's not much to add that isn't on the news, access and conditions Web pages. It's January and it's snow. If you're a winter person, then go and enjoy. As you can see in the Webcam photo above, thar's snow in those parts, about 8 feet at Paradise and still another 3 months of winter.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Being Late

Yes, I know the January updates and reports are late. I got waylaid by other events and situations. Handy excuse and reason but don't change the fact I'm late. So, I hope to have this work on-line by the end of the week and get back to the other overdue work on the glaciers, NP brochures and maps (1914-1940), placenames, and so on down the list of current projects in need of attention to finish.

But all that said, with the Christmas and New Year's holidays now past, January is simply a continuation of normal winter operations in the NP. The snow play area has been open for two-plus weeks now. The Jackson Visitors Center goes back to weekend and holiday hours (open the whole two weeks of the holidays). And the road from Longmire to Paradise is managed at th gate just east of Longmire (opens daily 9-10 am, weather permitting) and at the Nisqually Bridge (chain up area when enforced).

Otherwise, it's winter in the NP. Only the lower elevations (below about 2,000 feet is consistently with little or no snow (only during storms and colder weather). All the rest is snow bound, and closed except to snow travellers and snowmobiles (restricted to selected roads) with 8' at Paradise.