Sometimes I feel like my life is broken up into chapters just like my novels. The chapter that just finished was a big one—my summer out in Yellowstone National Park. After three years of almost exclusively staying home with my girls, it was so, SO incredible to get back into my field in one of the most prestigious visitor centers in the National Park Service. Old Faithful is crazy, guys. Like, holy cow, there would be days where I’d stop to draw breath and realize I hadn’t stopped talking to visitors for an hour and a half. As a result, the people who work there have to be totally on top of everything.
I was so fortunate to work with some of the most knowledgeable, dedicated people in my field. People often think of a park ranger job as running around the vast wilderness communing with eagles or whatever, but the truth is, it’s very much a customer service job. And our staff at Old Faithful was a well-oiled machine. Through bear scares, irate visitors, bison jams, and six million Junior Ranger booklets, my fellow rangers were totally immersed in connecting visitors to the park. I learned a lot from every one of them. But more than that, I made some amazing friendships!
Hey Rangers! Here’s to next year—the big 1-0-0!!
Emily B. Martin
Author and Illustrator