Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fall Is Coming

This morning when we reported for work, the park ranger was catching a hummingbird that had flown into the Visitor Center.  He covered it with his hat, then carried it between his hat and his hand to the door, where it flew away.  A few minutes later he asked, "Do you like bats?"  In the evenings, bats fly around the Visitor Center eating the bugs that are attracted to the lights there.  One of the furry brown animals decided to spend the night in a corner outside the front door.

        Those events may not tell us fall is coming, but the weather sure lets us know.  In the past week, we have had morning temperatures in the low 40s and high 30s.  The afternoon high is still in the 80s, but we haven't seen 90 for a couple of weeks.  And by 6 pm, it is cooling down and very comfortable outside.  The temperatures are great.  This is our favorite time of the year. 

        The campers know it is fall, too.  Kodachrome has been busier this week than it was over the Labor Day weekend.  We still see lots of international visitors.  It is amazing how many Europeans come to the United States, some of them year after year.  We talked to a couple from Germany who has been here 14 or 15 times for their holidays.  This campground is really off the beaten track, 20+ miles from Bryce Canyon National Park, over 100 miles from Zion National Park.  Yet we see many international visitors in tents and in rented RVs.  We also see more older Americans, traveling after the height of the summer vacation season.  Friday the campground was full for the first time since we arrived in the middle of August.  Many of the campers are Utah residents who know this is a comfortable time of year to come to this desert campground.

        The only time we find these temperatures uncomfortable is first thing in the morning.  We have a small Kawasaki "mule" to get around the campground and it doesn't have a windshield, doors, rear window or heater.  When the temperature is 40 to 50 degrees, the wind chill at 20 mph is uncomfortable.  But it sure beats working outside in full sun at 92 degrees.

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