Photos: Casey Paige/Billings Gazette
Springtime in Yellowstone Lake, WY: The sun comes out, the temperatures rise and the 20-ton bulldozers start plowing.
Yellowstone National Park has a team of 14 people who work for about three months to clear the roads of snow and ice for visitors. One thousand gallons of fuel are used daily to clear the park’s 466 miles of roads.
This job is not for the faint of heart. Conditions can be tough, with temperatures reaching 20 below zero, and storms and wind blowing snow onto cleared paths.
“The most ground I’ve ever covered in a day in 10 miles,” plow crew Kenny Whitman told the Billings Gazette. “The least is seven-tenths of a mile. You get in snow 14-feet deep, and you stay all day long.”
One reason this veteran crew keeps coming back?
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” snowplow worker Lance Tyson told the Gazette. “There’s no tourists, nobody bothers us and the buffalo and elk calves are being born."
Does it seem strange to burn 1000 gallons of fuel in a national park?