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Aggie71's Blog (56)

A Day in the Life of Ranger Rich

In honor of Coolworks 24/7 on July 11, I carefully documented everything I did (and anything unusual) on Wednesday, July 11 :-)  So for all you CW fans wondering what a Park Ranger does each day ..... here ya go!  First off I got outa bed and made coffee (of course!)...

Then it was time for breakfast.  I normally have the days schedule in front of me just so I…


Added by aggie71 on July 13, 2012 at 10:37pm — 1 Comment

My Trip to Mug House

Each year the Mesa Verde Institute offers special hikes to areas inside Mesa Verde National Park that are not generally available to the public.   Last year I was able to visit a cliff dwelling called Square Tower House and it was a real highlight of my 2011 summer.  This year I got another treat by going to a place called "Mug House".   The interesting name was coined when one of the early explorers found three puebloan mugs, connected by twine, inside the cliff dwelling.  He named the…


Added by aggie71 on June 8, 2012 at 7:56am — No Comments

Road Trippin' to Canyon de Chelly

Here's my next installment regarding the ongoing adventures of Ranger Rich :-)  Went on a road trip to Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Tsai in Navaho....or shey in English).  Some spanish guy spelled it c-h-e-l-l-y ..... go figure.   On my way there I passed real close to one of our most famous landmarks ... Shiprock.

Shiprock is actually the core of a small…


Added by aggie71 on May 27, 2012 at 11:28am — No Comments

A Great Start to a Great Summer

It has been an exciting couple of weeks here at Mesa Verde National Park.   My job at the visitors center is going well ..... I really enjoy helping folks get the most out of their time at the park.  Also my weekends have been busy.   A couple of weeks ago I took one of my new friends (Tom) on a day trip to Hovenweep National Monument.  Hovenweep is a collection of Pueblo villages around 1,000 years old.

Tom and I did the 2 mile loop hike adjacent to the Visitors…


Added by aggie71 on May 6, 2012 at 9:36am — 1 Comment

Consider Southwest Colorado!

Well here we are again.  That time of year when everyone is considering where they will go for their summer 2012 adventures.  I wanted to throw SW Colorado into the hat ... so to speak.  Some folks have the impression that this area is mainly a dry desert with tons of rattlesnakes.   Truth is it can be dry, and there are snakes around IF you go looking for them.   But there is also the lush, green San Juan National Forest, and dozens of National Parks and Monuments in the "four corner"…


Added by aggie71 on January 22, 2012 at 6:55am — 1 Comment

Summer 2011 in Mesa Verde .... I will never forget it!

Here I am in Pagosa Springs CO writing the blog I dreaded.   I left Mesa Verde for the last time this year a couple of days ago.  I just didn't want it to end ... I would have gone another 6 months easily but I have family, friends, and obligations waiting for me in Texas.   This summer was everything I was hoping and much more.   It started that first week when the little girl walked up to the visitor center counter and asked me for my autograph.  It ended when I swore in four new Junior…


Added by aggie71 on October 17, 2011 at 6:24am — 7 Comments

Ranger Rich Rants ... Volume 8

Hi All!  It's getting real close to my end of season wrap up :-)   Today I went on the BEST cliff dwelling tour of the season!  I went to a place called "Square Tower House" on what is referred to as a back country hike.  Our group was limited to only 10 people, and we had a fantastic Ranger Tour guide named Tom Wolfe.   The tour began at 8am and lasted until a little after 10am.   Square Tower House is very rarely visited, so it was really special going to a fairly pristine site.…


Added by aggie71 on September 17, 2011 at 7:30pm — 4 Comments

Ode to Camping

I thought I would depart from my "Ranger Rants" series, and add a short piece regarding camping.  As some of you know, I have not been a big fan of fact it would not be too strong to say I detested camping.   However my recent trip to the Grand Canyon has definitely changed my perspective on the subject.  What changed?  Well first I discovered I could not find a hotel/motel room for less than $100/night and my camping spot ended up costing me $9/night (w/ my senior pass).  Also,… Continue

Added by aggie71 on August 29, 2011 at 2:37pm — 3 Comments

Ranger Rich Rants ... Volume 7

I just returned from the Grand Canyon.  How do you describe something that is simply indescribable?  If you haven't seen the Grand Canyon .... go see it.  You will not believe your eyes.   The incredible power of water over a few million years.   It took me 6 hours to drive to the canyon, but let me tell ya .... it was worth every second behind the wheel.   I took a bike tour Saturday on one of the Park Service's new "greenway" bike paths.  Eventually they hope to have many miles of bike paths… Continue

Added by aggie71 on August 28, 2011 at 4:38pm — No Comments

Ranger Rich Rants .... Volume 6

It's just about time to Meetup at Grand Canyon South Rim!!!!   I'll be at Mather Campground August 26-27 ... please drop in and say Hi!   I'll have some adult beverages iced down, and a great campfire.   I'll also have the graham crackers, Hershey Bars, and Marshmellows ..... so now ya gotta drop by if you are in the area!    Rumor has it I may also have some special Coolwork goodies for you'all (Thanks Kari!)    So excuses....come on by.   I don't know my exact camp site # yet ... try… Continue

Added by aggie71 on August 19, 2011 at 7:18am — 2 Comments

Ranger Rich Rants ... Volume 5

The Jackson Meetup .... WOW ..... what an absolute blast that was!  Those of you that blew it off .... OOPS!  You missed it big time.  Thanks to Kari & Megan & Terry for being the perfect folks to spend time with.  I haven't drank that much beer since Texas A&M (too many years ago).  Thanks to all of you for making me feel so much part of the group .... none too young or old, just good friends :-)  The bike ride Saturday was spectacular!  We even saw a Moose at the end of the bike… Continue

Added by aggie71 on August 2, 2011 at 9:01am — 1 Comment

Ranger Rich Rants .... Volume 4

I been noticing lately just how many foriegn visitors make it a point to visit Mesa Verde!   It seems like 3/4 of the folks I speak with are from someplace else than America.   I am sorta relieved when someone walks up to me and can speak english fluently :-)   I hope this doesn't come across wrong .... I appreciate all these visitors from other lands, and I hope they have a great time at Mesa Verde.  It's just curious that more Americans haven't figured out what most Europeans and Asians seem… Continue

Added by aggie71 on July 22, 2011 at 11:40am — 1 Comment

Ranger Rich Rants ... Volume 3

Today I'd like to talk about hiking :-)  Wow.....there are loads of places to hike around here!  I am just beginning to realize what a hiker's paradise this is in fact.  Yesterday one of my Ranger buddies and one of our interns went on a really neat hike with me up Bear Creek north of Delores Colorado.   The weather was glorious....mid 70's with a really nice, cool breeze.... and the landscape was breathtaking.   For all you out there that think "desert" when you think Mesa Verde .... ah guess… Continue

Added by aggie71 on June 12, 2011 at 9:22am — 3 Comments

Ranger Rich Rants ... Volume 2 sort of

I'm headed into week 3 at Mesa Verde and I am still loving this job!   Sure, I've explained how to get to Cliff Palace about 1,000 times and will surely do this 100,000 times more ... but I honestly try to let the visitor think this was the first time I explained it :-)   I have met a really nice guy and co-worker Franz who seems to have a "mini-me" persona about him.  He's something like 5-6 years younger than me but we have very similar histories and likes/dislikes.  He's my perfect hiking…


Added by aggie71 on May 22, 2011 at 7:37pm — 7 Comments

Now THAT was Cool!

On my second day as a Park Ranger I had the thrill of my life!  :-)   I had the cutest oriental girl walk up to the counter and ask me politely for my autograph!  WOW!  My autograph!  I couldn't hardly believe it.  But it was really great.   I know I talk a lot on this web site, and have somewhat of a "reputation" .... however this is the first time in my life that anyone, anywhere has asked me for my autograph.   Like I've mentioned before ... I am sure this job will get routine and boring in… Continue

Added by aggie71 on May 13, 2011 at 7:27am — 1 Comment

I was born to be a Ranger!

I just finished my first day in uniform and boy ... it felt GREAT!  I loved the interaction with the public, and did OK learning all  the admin stuff surrounding my job.  I still have a lot to learn, of course, and a lot to remember :-) but over time I hope I keep improving.   I was fortunate to have some great coaches and teachers today .... fellow Rangers that have been here before ... some of them nearly 20 years!   I also had the benefit of working with one of our "Interpretive Rangers"…


Added by aggie71 on May 10, 2011 at 7:20pm — 2 Comments

Am I in Heaven? or is this just Colorado?

I woke up a bit early this morning (3 am) not because I'm ill, or feeling bad.  No, it's just such a great thrill to be here in Colorado that I have to wake up every couple of hours and pinch myself to be sure it's all real!   The weather has been simply amazing ever since we arrived .... cool, clear, sunny with rich blue sky and snow capped mountains everywhere.  My vacation rental house (see "R&R Pagosa House" on FB) has survived it's first year of my ownership and 3 renters with only a… Continue

Added by aggie71 on May 1, 2011 at 3:43am — 3 Comments

Tomorrow my summer 2011 begins ... what will it bring?

Made it through the packing list .... and yea, I agree ..... it's too long.  The truck is packed.  I go see my surgeon tomorrow morning hoping to get a thumbs up regarding the body work done last Monday.  My truck has a new radiator and new spare tire ... Irene even cleaned the inside for me .... it looks great!   So the long wait and all the preparations are finished.   Now it's just a matter of "execution" as they say in the big leagues.   I've daydreamed so much about what the summer may… Continue

Added by aggie71 on April 24, 2011 at 6:02pm — 8 Comments

You Know When Something Just Feels Right

This blog is dedicated to all My Coolworker friends who have been following my trials and tribulations attempting to secure an Alaskan job offer for Summer 2011 ...  you know who you are :-)


At 61, male, not knockout handsome, overweight and apparently over educated ... I have found it difficult to obtain a job offer in Alaska this summer.  I have been at it since November 2010 (which is too early BTW), and have submitted a lot of employment applications.  Just no one has…


Added by aggie71 on February 21, 2011 at 4:38pm — 24 Comments

Alaska Laugh

Richard had been in business for 35 years. Finally sick of the stress, he quits his job and buys 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible. He sees the postman once a week and gets groceries once a month. Otherwise it's total peace and quiet..

After six months or so of almost total isolation, someone knocks on his door. He opens it and a huge, bearded man…


Added by aggie71 on December 10, 2010 at 6:00am — 3 Comments

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