Lately I pretty much only work shifts--either cleaning, in the visitor center or collecting fees in the entrance station...so instead of "quietly going insane" (Edward Abbey), I thought I'd write about the shifts (and everything else!). Tonight I do have a sunset hike so I can write about that later. I actually forgot about the program later so I will work an extra 2 hours that I can take off tomorrow.
The C shift starts at 8:30 a.m. I drop off my lunch and everything at the visitor center, then grab the money box and head out to the entrance station. I will be out here until 12:30 p.m. when it's time for lunch. (I brought cans of soup...) After that I will work until 6 p.m. in the visitor center. We have a large gift shop, museum and art gallery. At 6, I will close everything up: lock doors, take down the flags and count the money. Then I will clean the visitor center restrooms. Normally after that it's 7 p.m. and time to go home, but tonight I will be here until 9 p.m.-ish.
The sunset hike starts at the main Point overlook and we will hike about a mile round-trip around the part of the mesa where the horses were trapped, giving the park it's name--Dead Horse Point. I carry a bag full of animal fur and skulls so I can talk about the animals that live here in the park. A lot of them are nocturnal because of the desert's heat and drought so that's what I focus on, mostly because visitors come in asking why they aren't seeing any wildlife. I think tonight I will be talking a lot about these little gnats that keep hanging around. The don't bite me much but visitors come in with welts all over their arms and legs! They are similar to mosquitoes--the females bite for blood that they will use to produce eggs.