My gypsy life and winter in Yarnell was over before I knew it, and it was time to return to my…
Gaelyn in Visitor Center 2006 by S. Gladish
…alter-life as a seasonal Park Ranger at Oregon Caves National Monument. But I did more than lead cave tours.
Wild Rhododendron along Myrtle Creek Trail
Spring hiking through the Redwoods less than 30 miles away and on the road to the California coast offers biological diversity because of the unique geology.
Darlingtonia are carnivorous
Metamorphic serpentine—a soft waxy rock used for carving—is characteristic of unusual flora and toxic to many plants due to a lack of essential nutrients and high concentrations of heavy metals.
Historic Oregon Caves Chateau
After three seasons learning about the cultural history of the area and monument I felt confident enough to develop a living history program.
Gaelyn/Darlene with visitors in Chateau coffee shop
I created a composite character of a woman, Darlene (borrowed from a dear friend of the right age), who presumably worked in the Chateau for Oregon Caves Company, a private concessionaire, in 1953.
Gaelyn/Darlene with visitors in Chateau lobby
Dressed as 73 year old Darlene and in character, I shared stories from the past while encouraging visitors to create their own memories as we toured the historic Chateau.
Gaelyn and Darlene onboard
In September I took a long weekend to visit the real Darlene and we celebrated her birthday…
The Columbia Gorge
…onboard a sternwheeler on the Columbia River out of Cascade Locks, Oregon.
View of Stevenson, Washington from the river
Learning to tie-die
Over the summer a friend taught me how to tie-die (I know, where was I in the 60s) as we increased her stock…
Welcome to Barter Fair
…so we could share space at the fall Hope Mountain Barter Fair where I’d sell my jewelry and other stuff.
Barter Fair booth
Having fun at the Fair
And when the Fair was over I knew winter was coming to Oregon so I would be moving on to warmer climates.