A Different Kind of Park            

My name is Jason, as you’ve probably guessed by the name of this blog, what you may be wondering is how I’m for parks. And the answer there is simple, I work as a park ranger in one of the largest parks in the country. It’s an amazing job that has me spending tons of time outside, seeing nature and the wild up close, and having some of the greatest experiences I can while on my work site. I have seen baby bears, and grown ones, I have watched eggs hatch into owls and all manner of life in between. It is such an amazing experience helping families from across the country get to be one with nature again, and experience all that mother nature provides for us.

I have been working in the parks industry for many years, and know my service areas like the back of my hand. But that’s not to say that even I can’t get hopelessly lost in the back country. It takes a special kind of person to keep their cool when they have no idea where they are and knowing that there are creatures within the bush that will happily eat you for dinner and bring your carcass back for the kids. I know I’m making it sound like one of the scariest jobs on earth, but there are of course the dangers of being trapped out in the wilderness.

I have been interesting in being in this line of work my entire life, and absolutely love being out with the animals and one with nature. I have assisted lost hikers, guided some tour groups, and helped scientists with catch and tag procedures. Getting to see a pack of wolves moving through the trees just before dawn is an incredible experience, and when the first deer comes close enough that you can touch it, it’s a truly magical experience as well. I have decided that it was time to put some of my stories to the page as I feel that I’ve been collecting a lot of them over the years.

I have moved across three separate parks now, in different areas of the country, some smaller, and now to the largest one I’ve worked. The initial experience is one of being overwhelmed, there is so much space out there that you can potentially get lost in, and knowing that soon you will know it like you know yourself is an insane thought. Inevitably though, I suppose like any other job, you get to know your routines. And there are certain gates I’m tired of checking, and certain nights of the year I dread, such as Hallowe’en, but for the most part, it’s a job that keeps me on my toes, and keeps me excited to get to work every day. So I invite you to accompany me on this journey of getting to know the country around us, as we make our way across the park of the United States and learn a little along the way.

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