Thursday, November 6, 2008

There is a good chance that winter has arrived.

Well, if not winter; at least winter driving conditions have arrived in the mountains!

I got called out a few mornings ago for a report of a semi truck overturned in the ditch. While I immediately thought of the Delissio pizza truck (mm mmm, good) that wrecked a few years ago, or the cattle liner that sent domestic cows to range in the mountains, this trailer proved to be tough, and nothing foreign was added to the environment.

But it was a very scary ride for the driver, who only received minor injuries, and luckily no one else was involved in the wreck (Unlike the five semi truck head-on last January).

It appeared that the truck came down the hill, around the curve while completely broadside across all three lanes before it completed the 180 degree turn to face back the way it had come from. Then it entered the ditch sideways and did a complete roll before coming to rest at the bottom.

Cranes were called in to help off-load the cargo before the wreckers could move it, and we spread absorbent pads to soak up the leaking engine oil and diesel fuel. The driver was released from hospital and came back to observe the cleanup.


The next day, I was checking out another area north of home and spotted four nice big bull moose hanging out on the lakeshore together. I took a photo - through the spotting scope - but the quality was not good enough to post. Same thing for the four swans a-swimming on the same lake!

On the way back I thought I had seen a lynx run across the road ahead of me, so I stopped to examine the tracks in the snow on the edge of the road to make sure it was not a more common coyote.

As I was taking photos of the tracks, I heard some sounds from the bushes along the road, and much to my surprise, I soon saw not one but two cute cat faces peering out at me from among the spruce branches.

I started to snap pictures, thinking each one would be my last, but they were quite unafraid, and eventually came right out of cover to check me out. I paced out the distance after they had left and they were barely 6m (6 yards) away.

The next day, we were out and about in the park when we got a call about an overturned vehicle in the ditch possibly with several people trapped inside. The reports varied widely (which is common), and so we responded along with 3 medic units, the police, the fire department, and a helicopter.

We passed the fire department on the way, and were first to arrive. While my partner checked the patients, I put up warning signs and secured the scene so no more vehicles became involved.

It turned out that there was only one patient with potentially serious injuries, one 'walking wounded' and one who had caught a ride to the medical clinic in town. We let the fire dept and the medics take over patient care while we secured a landing zone for the helicopter on the highway.

We helped load the patient into the helicopter, which subsequently flew direct to the hospital in Calgary.

Back on the home front (the driveway), I reluctantly unhooked the 5th wheel after the halloween 'campout', and was giving serious consideration to throwing the truck camper on again so as not to waste my six days off in a row.

I checked the weather reports for anywhere with a days drive, and none were encouraging, so we are holed up at home for the time being - Harley and I fighting for the best spot in front of the fireplace!
It is snowing out, and the roads are likely in poor shape, so there could be some more overtime on the horizon, but we don't like to make money from someone else's misfortune. We like to take it in 'time off'!

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