If you’re like us, you might be itching for some GNP about now (namely, the eastside). Enter the internet, and that longing is eased a little through webcams and Glacier-oriented Facebook feeds & blogs like MGH Winter Keeper. Like Dave & Rebecca’s blog, if you aren’t following Ralfafara on Instagram, you need to be!!
We are so glad we found Ralfafara (Becca) through the “Explore” tab on Instagram, her snapshots give us lovely look at what is going on on the Eastside with her almost-daily postings. Since Becca is living in the Park for the Winter and enjoys posting online, she’s got our Winter pulse on GNP.
Read on for our interview, and some of our favorite snapshots from her awesome feed~
Becca, thank you so much for your kind responses to our questions!
*So… you are a park ranger, tell us more about what you do! Do you work in the park in summer, too?I am a naturalist/education park ranger- so I staff the visitor centers (answering questions, planning trips, etc), I lead guided hikes, present evening programs and other talks, hike the trails, and various other projects. I actually work mostly in the the summer and not much in the winter- like most rangers in GNP (where most of the visitation is in the summer). Because I’m not working I am able to get out and explore a lot in the winter. My husband works year round and so I’m lucky enough to live in the park all year.*Besides adventuring, how do you keep busy during some of those Winter times?I love knitting- it’s how I spend most of my time in the winter. I’ve learned a lot via YouTube! I have been knitting since I worked in Zion NP which was back in 2009. I’m about to start on my biggest project to date- a blanket with a that is based off the Pendleton Glacier/Hudson Bay blanket.
*Where does your IG handle “ralfafara” come from?My handle “ralfafara” is my first initial and then last name…not very creative, I know! “Wreck it ralfafara” is just a play on my name to sound like the movie Wreck it Ralph.
*Do you have any formal photography training?I do not have any training in photography- one day I would love to get a nice DSLR camera but for the most part I just capture moments with my iPhone and some zoomed in pictures with my point and shoot camera. If I ever get a fancy camera, I would probably want some training! I just wing it nowadays.
*For those of us who dabble in Instagram, do you have any IG tips for photos?Like I said previously, I just wing it for the most part. I think it helps for me to shoot pictures that I intend to post on IG in the square format on my phone or if its on my camera I shoot vertically so I know i can crop out a portion of the top or bottom to fit in the square. Also, I don’t like to go overboard with editing or filters…but with beautiful scenery like Glacier- no filters are necessary!
*What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you in the Park?Hmm… probably the amount of people I see getting really close to wildlife-I’ve even observed people petting bighorn sheep! I also had a somewhat scary experience when I was hiking my first summer, when I saw a grizzly very close to the trail (Highline) so I decided to turn around and try to catch up with some folks that I had passed earlier. I asked them if they’d seen the bear and they had no clue it was there…unfortunately one of the hikers decided they wanted to see it and turned around to head in the bear’s direction despite my warnings. She saw the bear (much too close) and then headed back towards me and her partner…the next thing we knew, the bear was on the trail following us- and as you well know, that trail doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. We were all pretty nervous but luckily after a few minutes it hopped off the trail and headed up hill. When we got a little further back towards the trailhead there was a huge crowd of people with cameras and binoculars telling us that a bear had been following us. Whew!
*Favorite hike in GNP?Oh wow. Thats a tough question! I haven’t hiked nearly all the established trails in Glacier yet but out of the hikes that I have done…I’d have to say Cracker Lake or the Highline Trail (especially the Glacier Overlook spur). Although, I don’t think there are any trails in the park that aren’t completely amazing.
*Have you taken a boat tour? We’d love to have you….
I have taken a few boat tours- mostly on Lake McDonald with rangers. I’ve also taken the tour on Swiftcurrent/Josephine. Whenever my family comes to visit I always recommend boat tours and they’ve loved them!
Thanks again, Becca & enjoy the rest of your Winter in the Park! We’ll be following along with your awesome adventures.
Hope to see you this Spring!
(all photos by Rebecca Alfafara)