Welcome to my (Claire Stout) blog about my summer internship in Yellowstone National Park. I am brought here by the Student Conservation Association and given a scholarship by Americorps for my college tuition. I am interning under the head ranger at the Tower Ranger Station. This blog contains stories of my adventures and what it is like to live here in the park. There are also photos that contain me, the people I work with, and interesting things I encounter. Feel free to leave a comment and enjoy!

Yellowstone Album 3

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tower Fall

I don't think I have mentioned this before, but Tower Ranger Station gets its name from Tower Fall. This is a big (giant!) waterfall about 2.5 miles from the ranger station. The fall is surrounded by rock that stick up randomly and look like giant stalagmites (stick up from the ground).
Two days ago, Brady and I showed up at the Tower Fall trail because Liz was there alone on a bear jam. The bear was about 50 yrds off the trail, and Liz had gone further down to warn people closer to the river that a bear was headed in that direction. It was pretty peaceful at first: there weren't any cars to worry about, the bear was a good distance away, Brady and I were joking on the Scene of Action radio channel. Then the bear started to move.
He was going at a good pace too. It seemed he was going to intersect the trail, (and he did). I had told Brady jokingly, that I would protect him if the bear came up. Law Enforcement officers, like him, have too much stuff on their duty belt that the bear spray doesn't fit (and I did have bear spray, thus the joke). However, in the process of getting the crowd away from the bear, (who by the way, the crowd, wouldn't move if their life depended on it, at it could have) Brady and I got separated with the bear between us. I was in front of the large crowd and Brady was alone. It is safer to be with a large crowd, and I had failed to protect Brady; I felt bad about that.
But thankfully the bear just looked at him and looked at me (we were both about 10 ft away) and ran over the hill towards an animal trail. Brady followed the animal trail while I went up to the look out the upper lookout to see if I could see it from there. Brady came back up saying he had followed the trail but didn't see any signs that the bear had used it. We were about to leave the area when someone shouted "Bear!" and we turned and there the bear was, crossing the trail again not twenty feet from visitors. Brady figured when he had followed the trail, he probably came close to the bear and turned around before he reached it.
The bear went down back the way it came and crossed over a creek. So that bear jam was over.

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