Kids are back in school and the elk are bugling all night long; it's definitely fall in Rocky. As the summer season begins to wind down, I had the chance to head up Mary's Lake Road to check in with volunteers stationed at the Wild Basin and Longs Peak ranger stations.
Jan and Sonja independently began their service as Wild Basin volunteers by substituting in for other VIPs and decided to continue returning season after season…for over ten years. As with many volunteers, they find the most rewarding part of their job to be interacting with visitors to the area. After Sonja moved to Texas 43 years ago, she started coming to Rocky for vacations and has returned every year to continue enjoying the park. She mentioned specifically her excitement this year upon arriving to see that Copeland Lake, a man made feature just inside the Wild Basin area, is once again full after the water level had been very low for a few years. This has been an unusually hazardous season at Wild Basin, as they've dealt with a few visitors who have fallen into the North St. Vrain River, and both Jan and Sonja are looking forward to the fall foliage and a change in visitor demographics as families transition back into the school year.