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LOVE this location! Being in Mammoth Hot Springs is just better all around. Except for playing musical parking spaces and dodge elk lol.

Much happier in the Assistant F&B Manager position- using me as a dining room host when I have 30 some odd yrs of experience and two degrees in the field was sort of like using a chainsaw to cut a toothpick! 

The Lamar Valley is always hopping with some kind of wild life and have been on a couple of hikes in the park. Going to get my back country camping permit this week and try for a spot out in the Lamar. Have seen wolves on a few occasions- both in the Lamar and down at Hayden Valley as well. Not close enough for pictures- but able to get a good look through my binoculars and a better look courtesy some kind people with high powered scopes. (HAVE to save up for a good scope and a good camera,)

I have numerous pics of wild flowers. Every time I go out something new is blooming. Have been able to take some of the younger people without vehicles on a few expeditions- took a group of three down to Old Faithful last week with stops along the way at Firehole Falls and a few other scenic pullouts. Seeing their joy and wonder and awe was heart lifting!

Yellowstone summer! 

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Comment by Patty on August 22, 2013 at 11:54am

Hey Melissa!

It's great to see your post here (although I know it's already old and stale!)

We're traveling through YNP this week trying to connect with folks who have a fondness for CW and who are located in the Park. As you may or may not know, CoolWorks was started out at Roosevelt when our President and Founder was living at Tower with his then-Ranger wife. The World Wide Headquarters for CoolWorks have been in Gardiner for many years.

Bill (the Pres) is traveling today with a free-lance writer/blogger and they'd love a chance to meet up with you. If you are at all interested in being interviewed, please let me know at  The writer lives in Bozeman and so another little jaunt down might not be out of the question.

(I spent 32 years living and working with the Park as my backyard - 4 seasons at Lake, 1 at Old Faithful, 20 out of Gardiner and 13 living at Mammoth!)

All the best,


Comment by reggiecohen on July 12, 2013 at 7:48pm

cool glad your liking it better i know most of the edr staff there

Comment by Leo Anderson on July 12, 2013 at 12:01am

Congrats on getting the promotion to Assistant F&B Manager. I am glad you are enjoying yourself more at the Mammoth location. I look forward to seeing some pictures you post. Thanks for the update ok? Have a blessed week and an even better conclusion to your summer / 2013!


Comment by ken horner on July 8, 2013 at 7:58pm

believe as you will.the population is wayyyyyyyyy over 100. that may be whats in the park but in Mt it's well over 600. 

Comment by Melissa Whitener on July 8, 2013 at 3:59pm

Ken- Funny when people tell me to "get educated" on a subject. I do not speak to those things I have not researched. For example- the elk population in MT and WY is well over and above their called for "management" numbers. The wolf population this year is down in the 60's - where there once were well over 100.

Elk hunting brings in money- yes- and so so the tourists who come to see the wolves. There are PLENTY of elk. Way over and above what is needed for a healthy herd and more than enough to fill the quota of tags purchased every year.

The wolves are nowhere near restoration- and have NOT populated their historic range. 

Oh yes, I did my homework. 

Comment by ken horner on July 7, 2013 at 8:03am

Melissa, Not everyone that kills wolves are "haters" I haven't killed any but I do believe that there has to be some control of their population. 

Have you noted the decrease in the elk population north of the park? Wolves are a big contributor to that. 

The number of wolves has grown more than anyone thought it would, there's more now than ever before. Even before the extermination of them years ago. 

There's more than one side to every story. Conservation is more than just letting them repopulate. 

There's also the elk hunters to think of, with the decrease in elk population there's less money for the local economy. Where's there's people there's going to be changes. Not everyone will agree but before calling people "haters" get educated on the subject. look at the numbers and all sides of the story.

Comment by Melissa Whitener on July 3, 2013 at 7:52am

Aggie71 I surely hope we do meet at some point! The Park is all I hoped it would be- though more wolves would be better. Hopefully the wolves will stay IN the Park this winter and deny the haters the chance to exterminate them. 

I am anxiously awaiting the winter application process- they have not opened that up yet. Really hoping to get one of those coveted slots. And keeping my fingers crossed for a Mammoth posting- afraid I would get claustrophobic if I was assigned to Old Faithful for the winter lol. Once you are in there for the winter, that's it- you are basically stuck there with no way out lol. 

Hope things are wonderful for you there in Alaska!

Comment by aggie71 on July 3, 2013 at 7:33am

Glad to hear things have improved.  Yellowstone was one of my favorite places.  Hopefully we'll cross paths in the future Melissa.  Ranger Rich

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