Always forgotten and uncared for over the winter I sit in a metal Connex shipping container 6 months a year. I think the NPS rangers are under the impression I hibernate. Let me tell you it is cold! Imagine leaning against metal when it reaches -40. Brrr...gives me chills just thinking about it.
But I digress. I have an interesting job and I can be very versatile. I wear many hats as it were, such as being a closure sign for a wolf den, a danger sign for moose calving or a bear kill, or a critical habitat sign. I get to see some interesting places, travel occasionally, and spend lots of time out in the park (including areas where only a few backpackers visit).
I really feel like I accomplish a great deal. I warn the public of dangers and I feel like I am personally protecting some of the parks amazing creatures. I get really upset when people just ignore me or feel like what I have to say doesn't apply to them. The rangers must like working with me since they seem to get upset when others don't heed my warnings. Also they always seem so happy when they are taking me out into the park. Although, I must admit, I am not a big fan of getting hit repeatedly on the head. I say to the rangers "Hey, that hurts", but it always comes out as "creak"...I must have suffered brain damage from all the hammering.
Here is a great photo of me soaking up the sun and scenery near the Teklanika bridge. I was protecting wolves that day...I know your jealous! :)
Here is one of my cousin, he was always the funny one. He drew on himself and was posted near the water to warn people about "Killer Beaver"...ha ha...killer beaver...only he would think of that...whew, well back to my story.
The other day I was posted a few miles beyond Toklat to let people know that I was protecting the Western boundary of a wolf den closure. Everything was normal for a few days, you know fun, sun, and sight-seeing. Then one day I was standing around minding my own business, when I was attacked from the back. I was clubbed on the back of the head and dragged away. Eventually (I presume a bear) chewed on me and reduced me to shreds. When the rangers came by to ask how I was doing, it took 30 minutes to locate me. They could not believe the damage so they took a picture of me. Look there I am torn apart on the ground (covered in teeth marks). Hmmm...this is kind of like an out of body experience.
So long all and good luck to all my brothers and sisters still out there fighting the good fight.
R.I.P. NPS sign R.I.P.