Working for the National Park Service as a seasonal student employee has its benefits, for example, the living situation. Working for the National Park Service doesn't get much better when the house they provide leads to a five minute commute to work. Along with the short downhill drive, it is typical to see elk and deer in the meadows that surround the road. The house itself is also a plus. Compared to my living quarters in Fort Collins, the house at High Drive is quite spacious and has plenty of room to accommodate all those who live in it. With three bed rooms, a large living room, and a decent sized kitchen for amateur cooks (usually ready-to-cook meals), it is a perfect fit. The scenery around the house is a beautiful view of the Estes Valley and is located on the bottom slope of Deer Mountain. From the backyard we can bushwhack about 100 yards to a 9 mile trail that takes us to the peak and around Deer Mountain. Most notably, the house is complete with an outdoor wood grill that now has a new natural made bench made of large flat rocks and a slight recline. To top off the whole live situation, the charge for rent is taken directly out of my paycheck so there is no worry about getting the check in on time. This is especially nice when there is a possibility that I can be gone on an assignment for two weeks and miss the due date.
Two of my crew members and two crew members of the re-vegetation crew also live in the house. Our firefighting schedules don't match those of the re-vegetation crew so we don't see them that often, but when they are around we enjoy the extra company. Having the two other guys from my crew in the house is definitely a benefit. Not only do we hold each other responsible for getting to work on time, but the bar-b-que's on the back deck make for some good bonding time!
Overall, the housing situation with the National Park Service couldn't be better. The nice house with beautiful views, a short drive, and easy-going roommates makes life simple after work. Plus, the hike behind our house is a great way to get away from it all if I need some time to myself.