Archive for November 2010

Hot Tub Technician Rambling Blues

November 17, 2010

The guts of A5

I am winding down the final few hours of my Hot Tub Technician career here in Mammoth Hot Springs. I started this gig on May 20. It ends today. It has been a good run with a good crew on Mammoth Maintenance. But it is time to move on. I look forward to once again climbing behind the wheel of a Bombardier R-12 this winter down at Snow Lodge. I check back in for the winter season on December 2. Giving me two weeks off. I am hitting the open road tomorrow and heading to Texas for Thanksgiving. Emily will meet me there, and we will drive back to Yellowstone after Thanksgiving with the family on the Texas coast. Em has been in Alabama since October 30 spending time with her mom, friends, and other family members. If all goes to plan, we will reunite at the Houston Amtrak station on Tuesday. Em is riding the rails from Birmingham to Houston. Then we will head to Port Aransas on the Texas coast with the family for Thanksgiving. My final Hot Tub check is done. I stare out the window of A5 at snow covered Mammoth.  Hot Tub Technician days behind me. Soak on.

Mom and I on the porch of A5

Pointy Things:2004

November 9, 2010

Pointy Things

Lightning cracked: Lighting the sky: Brilliant: Silver: Blue: Yellow:

Virgil: Squats amongst boulders: Peering out across the rock-strewn landscape:

Crawlies dream of being: Pointy things protruding from upper lips:

Clothing clings to rotting flesh: Time marches on:

One creature lusts the soul: The others yearn the flesh:


Bats circle in the crackling sky above: Honing in on Virgil’s scent: For the Master:

His would be minions marching through the night: The never-ending mission to feed:

The Army of the Dead turned out to be a bad idea:

The Count: Thought they might come in useful: In his quest to rule the world:

They proved an uncontrollable mob: Impossible to threaten:

Hunger of the most gluttonous locust: All living flesh devoured in its path:

Leaving The Count: Little human candidates for conversion:


Virgil: Just the man he needs on his side:

To master the Army: Who blindly followed: Never heeded:

Virgil: Reserved for special treatment: The Count: Not going to allow:

Eternal gnawing of the Army of the Dead: Will not get in the way:

Apprehension: Conversion of a right hand man:

Racing thoughts: Drive Virgil’s feet forward: Boulder hopping slick rocks:

Between lightning strikes: Thunder claps: The Count: Pursues:

Modern day Nosferatu: Minus hook-nose: Dismounts his supple steed:

Suckling a nip: Before setting off on foot: Across the moraine:

The Live Undead: Trudging some distance behind: Along the road:

Soon to lose itself: In the boulder field of the moraine:

The moraine of Black Glacier: Zombies aren’t built for mountain travel:


The storm clears: Full moon rises in above The Weaver: Piercing the starlit sky:

Virgil: Knows of a cave: Nestled in The Weaver:

Above the moraine: Above the glacier: Tucked into the Bergshrund:

Above the mother of all crevasses: At the bottom: The Count: Bothering no one:

Virgil: Thinks of ambushing The Count: The Army will not it make above the glacier:

Virgil: Always flees with his pointy things:

Crampons: Sharpened wooden handled ice axe:


Below The Count: His full arsenal: Pointy things:

Virgil: Reaches the foot of Black Glacier: Ever retreating as the globe warms:

Truly a Black Glacier: As much rock and dirt as ice:

Deadly slick spots: Dropping into deep and dark crevasses:

Bottomless: Un-escapable:


Virgil: Gingerly wrestles: Pointy things from pack:

Clamps on crampons: Loops the ice axe strap around his wrist:

Glances back down the moraine: Spies the figure of The Count:

Nimbly plying the boulder field below: Gaining rapidly:

The Army has reached the edge of the moraine: They descend on The Count’s steed:

Zombie Power Bar: Final screams echo: Off the walls of The Weaver’s Cirque:

A mere hors d’ oeuvre: Ravenous mob never satisfied: Eternal curse of the Live Undead:


Questing out onto the moraine: Driven by the search for fresh flesh: Sniffed on the wind:

Boulder hopping skills lacking: Zombie March into boulder field:

Slipping and sliding: A necral pratfall of manic proportions:

Cries of frustration: Brainless zombies wallowing in their mire:

Virgil: Can’t help but giggle at the spectacle: The Count: Pauses and looks back:

Evil laugh echoes through the cirque: Event of utmost humor:

Emotion zombies no longer enjoyed: Bonding man and Vampire for a fleeting moment:

A truce in the never-ending war: But a brief truce: Nosferatu: Pursues the chase:


A few intrepid zombies: Navigating the moraine: Successfully:

Three Quarters down: One Quarter left to battle the glacier itself: Minus pointy things:

Virgil: Heads up glacier: Slow going: Terrain no zombie can navigate:

The Count: Another matter: Intrepid mountaineer:

Pioneer of countless Black Glacier routes: Nocturnal climber of distinction:

But Virgil: Will lead him on The Astral Plane: A route The Count knows nothing about:

A route to the heart of the bergshrund: Virgil: Knew he would follow:


Nothing would stop The Count: Mission of utmost importance:

The Count: Now on Black Glacier: Following Virgil’s tracks: Pointy things:

The Count: Protruding: Pointy things: Vibrating in anticipation:

Yearning for blood: The door to the soul: Pushing ever upwards:

Zombies below: Step on the ice: Sans pointy things:

Slipping: Sliding: Crashing: Hurling: Plummeting: Damnation of Eternal Crevasse:

Virgil: Stops: Listen to screams:


The bergshrund ahead: The Count: Below:

Virgil: Reaches the head of the glacier: Gazes down into the bergshrund:

He rigs up his rope: Rappels into the dark depths: Clicking on headlamp:

Scanning the walls for the cave: Lamp lands upon the grotto:

Virgil: Swings into the entrance: Finding firm footing:

He unhooks from rope: Pulling it down into the cave:

Clicks off his lamp: Sits and waits:


The Count: Reaches the crest: Drops into the bergshrund:

No headlamp needed: Nocturnal eyes peering:

Virgil: Squatting in the dark of the cave wall: Waiting:

The Count: Sees the cave: Swings over to its entrance:

Virgil: Leaps up: Knife in hand: Slicing the rope: Plummeting Count:

Crevasse below: Bouncing off walls:

Descent stops: Grabbing a ledge: Struggling up:

Virgil: Hears: The Count: Below: Curses his luck:


The game is not over: Arsenal of pointy things engaged:

Protruding: Tingling: Pointy things: Up climbs The Count:

Virgil: Sharpens his stake: Wooden ice axe handle: Double duty:

The Count: Emerges into dark: Scanning for Virgil: Not seeing:

Virgil: Swings in from above: Wooden Stake meeting its mark:

The cries of the damned: Echo: Through Black Glacier:

Unite for a moment: Disappear into the depths:


Makes extra sure the job is done: Multiple stabbings: Lifeless Vampire:

Dragged to the rising sun: Body devoured by light: Pointy thing necklace:

Virgil: Heads up The Weaver: Gazes on the chaos below: Consuming the world:

Virgil: Deep into the mountains: Sole companions: Pointy things: