The weather was nice all week with highs between 78 and 85, but it has not rained significantly for a month. That dryness has a lot of the trees yellowing a bit early. Many trees are already shedding leaves, and lose more with every gust of wind. The forecast calls for a change in the weather next week, so we'll see if that brings some cooler and wetter weather.
I enjoyed an Indian taco made by the folks at the Little Feather Interpretive Center on 4th St NW in Pipestone on Saturday. Chuck Derby runs the shop and he's a very cool dude. His website exposes some of the controversies that the park stays away from, and provides a more complete picture of the cultural sensitivities we try to promote in the park. As for the Indian taco, for those unacquainted, an Indian taco is similar to a normal taco in that it is made with taco meat, cheese, lettuce, and toppings like tomatoes, sour cream, black olives, and taco sauce. Instead of a tortilla, though, the base is made out of frybread, basically a big pancake-like donut. Delicious? Yes! Healthy? Well, did I mention it had multiple food groups? After all, the top of the food pyramid is fat, salt, and sugar, but it wouldn't be a pyramid without the top! While in Browning, MT a couple years back, I had an Indian taco there made with chili insead of taco meat as a base, which was über-filling.
We had some excitement on Friday as all at once, 150 3rd and 4th graders arrived at the same time as a reporter from Minnesota Public Radio. What could be better than talking to a bunch of 9-year-olds about the importance of smoking? There had been some speculation that I might take the radio interview, but that was more in the realm of a Chief of Interpretation (currently a vacant position here) or Superintendent, and, in fact, the Superintendent did the interview, strolling past my hordes of kids. I'm not sure when the MPR story will air, but it will probably happen on or around the release of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" on September 27.
We watched a 1-hour preview of America's Best Idea on Sunday morning. We'll show it for the public at Pipestone National Monument on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 PM. I was a little surprised to see a couple familiar faces: Clay Jenkinson, who we work with on projects at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Bill Cronon, who was one of my professors at UW-Madison. The documentary is going to be really terrific, a reminder of why we have national parks and why we need to keep working to protect them.