As I sit here with the space heater on full blast, wondering if I will be able to thaw out by spring, I can’t help but think of how different life is at Devils Tower with the changing of the seasons. For one, it was -22° F this morning…that was new and quite chilly! This summer it would usually be in the high 80s or 90s, sometimes breaking 100° F. I think I preferred the heat! And I know I am not alone in that. Summer is the busiest time of year for Devils Tower, with a drastic reduction in visitation through the long, cold winter.
By the numbers…
3,000 to 4,000 Visitors stopped in the Visitor Center each Day
5 Ranger-Led Programs a day
48 Rangers working in the various divisions
7-9 Staff in the Bookstore
10-20 (if the roads are not blocked by drifting snow!) visitors in the Visitor Center a day
0 Ranger-Led Programs daily (we still offer Education Programs for schools and have some Star Parties scheduled. Yay!)
24 Rangers in the various divisions (This number includes 3 that are on intermittent schedules)
4 Staff in the Bookstore
Like I said, things have changed here at Devils Tower with the onset of cooler temperatures (I’m being told that -22° F is abnormal and it should warm up somewhat…maybe. The jury is still out on that one.) The change isn’t bad, but I am definitely not a fan of being cold, I probably didn’t think that part through when I accepted the position of CVA in Northeastern Wyoming! That being said, it has been well worth it. I have had so many experiences here that I don’t think I could have gotten at a different park, which I’m sure many of the CVAs can say something similar. Overall I am grateful to have had this chance to learn about Devils Tower and the NPS and am looking forward to what the next 6 months will bring.
Until next time!
P.S. I’m very glad to have the winter jacket from SCA. They make a great extra layer to help insulate in this cold front!