So, as I suspected, today was a day of relaxing, hanging with people, and getting ready to ship some of my stuff back home. This morning I was able to hike up to Lunch Tree Hill again and enjoy that beautiful scene for one of the last times. I’ll miss the incredibly peaceful feeling I have when I’m up there, and watching the moose and elk grazing out in the Willow Flats below me. I heard some elk bugling for the first time a few evenings ago. In the fall male elk often bugle, especially in the mornings and evenings, to attract females. It’s a fairly high-pitched sound, and can be heard for miles. It’s known as one of the most distinctive sounds in nature, known as being almost as recognizable (and almost as haunting) as a gray wolf howl. I thought I might be leaving too early to hear them, but thankfully some of the elk have already started.
I met Jesse, who also had today off, in the EDR at lunchtime. After that I headed over to the employee village office and got a box to use to ship some of my stuff that I’m not going to use anymore back home. Since I’m going back on a plane, I don’t have enough room to take everything back that I brought here. I also started to clean up my side of the room as much as possible so far, so I won’t have as much to do on my last day here. On the seventh, my last full day here, I want to be able to have some time to say goodbye to everyone after work, instead of just spending that entire time packing up. On the eighth all I’ll have to do is drop off my linens at the employee village office, grab my suitcase, and head out to the airport with Jesse. I’m really glad that he offered to give me a ride, instead of just getting a taxi. It’s about a 45-minute drive over there, and it’ll be nice to get a little more time with him that morning. He’s one of the people that I’ll miss the most.
I just spent some time this evening sitting out on the back porch hanging out with Jesse and Cristina, who worked the morning shift today. It’s an absolutely beautiful day out today; the temperature is in the low seventies right now, and dropping since the sun’s going down. That back porch is a very simple place but, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s probably my favorite spot in this entire park. Some of my favorite memories with people here have taken place out on that porch, from Cristina’s birthday, to meeting Jesse on my very first evening here, to the multiple grill nights we’ve had out there, all of which have been a ton of fun. I’ll miss sitting under the overhang on rainy evening, taking in the wonderful smell of the rain mixed with the pine trees, and taking a pillow and blanket out there at night to lay on the picnic table and gaze up at the stars, which absolutely fill the sky here.
Tomorrow will probably be a day of doing one last load of laundry, shipping out the box I packed up today, cleaning up my room some more, and hanging out with people around here while I still can.