June 5-7, 2010

When I woke the grass was still a bit damp but the sun was rising and the air had warmed enough. I got a fire started and put some coffee on. I was able to cook the last of our bacon and begin sauteing some pepper and onions. I got Ingo out of the tent and we drank all of the coffee before I could even put eggs in the pan. I stoked the fire a little and tried to get another pot of water boiling but the wind was blowing in every direction and all the heat was disappearing from the grill area.

We spent about 2 hours trying to get water boiled for more coffee so we could put the eggs on the fire. Between attempts at restarting and coddling the fire I shook all the water off of the tarps and packed up our sleeping quarters. Ingo ended up throwing more wood on the fire and basically starting it from scratch. We finally got enough heat for the eggs to cook and I ended up pushing the grill grate back and putting the water pot for the coffee directly on the fire. We had hot enough water for coffee in about 10 minutes.

We both felt a little defeated by breakfast but washed our faces and packed up the car and headed for North Dakota.

When we arrived at the park, I met up with the Chief Ranger and checked into my apartment. It’s a cozy little space with a shower stall and a stove and two twin sized beds with a couple of feet between them. I have to admit it’s much nicer than my accommodations the first year I was in college and the rent is very cheap so I have no complaints. I was able to meet my roommate briefly but she took off shortly after because she had just started a second job for the summer. From what I can tell a lot of my colleagues have second jobs in town.

Ingo and I checked into a little motel in Medora and sat on a patch of grass out back to watch the sunset but quickly had to move inside because the wind made us chilly.

The town (ahem, village) of Medora is very quaint with a permanent population of less than 100. I’m told most of the businesses in town are owned by ‘The Foundation’ and close after the season is over. There is a good amount of foreigners who have come to work at the restaurants and I have met people from Macedonia and from the Ukraine. The park employees are also from all ends of the country: California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and now Florida (represent!).

I’m grateful that the V-Dub made it all the way up here, but he’s going to need a few small repairs before I do any major driving. I got a post office box and may end up renting a bike for the summer. My neighbors have all been really friendly and I have an excellent view from my apartment. I can tell I’m going to have an excellent summer.