Ranger Kathryn's Arches

December 18, 2011

The winter NPS uniform

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 2:12 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I pulled the gray felt hat out of its protective Stratton box, admiring the familiar dimpled shape and outrageously flat brim. Pushing it onto my head, breathing “please please fit, please,” I was relieved to find that it almost did. Tight, but workable if one doesn’t mind a sunken red impression striped across one’s forehead. Perhaps I’ll locate a colleague with a hat stretcher.

Sliding the embossed ‘USNPS’ hat band from my summer straw hat onto the winter hat, the ensemble was complete and I could walk to work for my first day ever in the winter park ranger uniform. Dripping with professionalism, it’s a much smarter look than the breezy summer uniform. The heavier pants drape beautifully. The tapered winter-weight shirt is finished off with mandatory green tie and arrowhead tie tack — a novelty for this woman whose off-duty wardrobe choices favor femininity over androgyny.

Mt Tukuhnikivatz, bedecked in a fresh garment of shimmering white, greeted me above the morning fog as I approached the Visitor Center and took a deep breath of chilly mesa air. The day brimmed with promise.


  1. Very Nice!!! Keep livin’ the dream!! :0)

    Comment by Kelly — December 18, 2011 @ 10:34 am | Reply

  2. Your look stunning! Congratulations once again for living the dream.

    Comment by Deb — December 18, 2011 @ 11:54 am | Reply

  3. You look great, Kathryn…very professional and outrageously happy!

    Comment by kathy lewis — December 18, 2011 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

  4. the winter digs are an improvement in how they fall on the lady figure, though you certainly would look nice in anything. but I am not looking forward to the wardrobe of my new dream job …

    Comment by Sh — December 5, 2012 @ 11:09 pm | Reply

  5. when in San Francisco be my guest for dinner. enjoyed your lecture thiis week March 2013.
    Greenbrae, Marin County CA

    Comment by Hank Miller — March 28, 2013 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

    • Hope you enjoyed visiting Canyonlands! Good to have you at my talk. Safe travels to you; I’ll look forward to perusing your photog website —

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — March 29, 2013 @ 7:15 am | Reply

  6. I’m curious. Are you participating in any of the NPS tactics to “make things as difficult as possible” for American citizens during the government shutdown? If so, are you still proud of your career choice?

    Comment by J.P. Travis — October 9, 2013 @ 8:28 pm | Reply

    • Mr Travis: I still am, and always will be, proud to be a park ranger. I understand your frustration, but want to remind you that the Congress, not the NPS, is responsible for the untenable situations being encountered in our parks. I was never given ANY instructions to “make things as difficult as possible.” Our hands are absolutely tied, in every way. We are incurring the understandable but completely misplaced wrath of the public when it ought to be directed at those whose political impotence is causing the dire straits. Please see this exceptionally well-written article explaining the dilemma at hand:

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — October 9, 2013 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

      • How about dinner the next time I’m in Moab????

        Comment by Hank Miller — October 9, 2013 @ 10:02 pm

      • I’m flattered by your offer, Hank, but will respectfully decline. My heart belongs to another!

        Comment by Kathryn Colestock-Burke — October 10, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

      • That lucky other heart! Keep up the great works at Canyonlands!!!

        Comment by Hank — October 10, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

      • Ranger Kathryn, I volunteer with the GGNRA here and we have no work due to the shutdown which has really made alot of visitors both nationally and internationally,angry! They can’t use our lovely Crissy Field, Marin Headlands, on and on due to the cry babies in DC who should be slapped with their own Pablum and made to behave! Keep up the great works at Canyonlands when you’re back on duty. Hope to see you during next road trip to Moab or if visiting San Francisco: Baghdad by the Bay!!!

        Comment by Hank Miller — October 10, 2013 @ 7:38 am

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