This is my fifth national park, and certainly the most complex. Not only does the ranger need to know about pretty much the full sweep of American history to explain why the seven (going on eight) memorials are significant, but there is the history of the memorial itself, the logistical things of where to be when and what to do, and information on the rest of the city. It's stressful, and I hate having to tell someone I don't know the answer.
I learned quickly to identify the location of the first aid bag at every duty station. My first day in uniform, I was assigned to the Lincoln Memorial, and it was less than an hour before a kid splatted on the chamber floor. Marble > Lip. I've since carried my latex gloves and breathing barrier in my pocket at all times.
One of the tricks is learning where and how to stand. Changing your location, orientation, and even posture can radically affect the type of interaction you get with visitors. For example, I quickly found that standing near one column in the Lincoln Memorial means more folks will ask me to take their picture, which I enjoy. But when I'm ready to talk about the murals or the Lincoln quotes on the walls, all I need to do is take five steps to the east and those will become the primary questions. Take five more steps to the east, and I'll be answering questions about the reflecting pool and the nearest metro. So moving around the monument throughout the day spices things up.
Each monument generates some interesting patterns in visitor behavior. Lincoln, for most, is a photo op. Washington is a treat. FDR is a surprise. Vietnam is emotional. Korea is confusing in that it is not Vietnam.
Of course the big news is the National Cherry Blossom Festival, billed as the largest event in the National Park Service because of the volume of visitors that come during the two week festival. The trees look nice with the flowers on them, but cold weather has subdued the level of visitation through the first week. It's nice that the event gets people outdoors, but I guess the thing I like about nature is the variety. I've been able to see a wide variety of birds, for example, including herring and black-backed gulls, osprey, bald eagles, pine warblers, tufted titmice, pied-billed grebes, and red-bellied woodpeckers. I see the same red-tailed hawk every morning by the US Department of Agriculture building; it caught a squirrel on Sunday.
Now that I'm an expert commuter, and have virtually memorized the bus schedule, it's not so stressful. I have been able to finish reading Washington: A Life which was pretty good. I'm now reading The Coldest Winter. I have a big pile of books lined up, but thankfully have a Kindle so I can always have all of them with me. The commute home makes my evening shorter than I'd like, but that's the way it is.
There is no shortage of things to do, and I'm happily busy all day. I really enjoy it.