Saturday, April 13, 2013

Getting High, and getting paid for it …

I’ve been getting high a bit lately, and it has likely contributed to my lack of posts Winking smile.

I spent a week at home, enjoying some pretty nice spring weather, with the snow melting rapidly, and ditching so the water flows in the proper direction down towards the river.  The geese are back and making their presence loudly known as they protest the lack of open water. The snow and ice the fifth wheel was parked on has somewhat melted. leaving it tilting and tipping as the wheels seek solid ground.


Hailey seems to be enjoying the extra room to roam, both indoors and outdoors,


where she found a way to get high on her own, to check out her domain.


For me, it was time to park the trailer for a while and re-load the ‘summer’ camper, and prepare to head out again.


Duties of my new summer job include working in and around fire lookouts and towers, so the first week of work was spent in school, learning how to ‘get high’, safely.

Alberta has a training centre near in Hinton, where all manner of fire fighters, lookout observers, heli-tac crews and others are trained. Early April is their busiest time of the year as they gear up for a new fire season, so the place was hopping.


Although dorm rooms and all meals are provided, Hailey was not welcome, and the rooms can be rather noisy, so we found our own camping spots far from the bustle, and returned each morning for classes.


That was fine for the first day, till mother nature decided to bless us with more snow and withhold anything resembling pleasant temperatures!

This tower is used to simulate rappelling out of a hovering helicopter.


Instruction included such topics as mapping, fire finders, radios and communications, smoke reporting, maintenance, bears, weather, safety, and forms, forms, forms!

And, we visited a couple of actual fire lookouts in the area.


Few fires were spotted under the snow!

After allegedly graduating from Lookout Observer school, I was soon out on the job, in the field assisting with an inspection of one of the many lookouts that I will be dealing with this summer.


Not my truck!


In a couple of weeks we will be opening up a Primary Fire Base, that will be my base of operations for the summer.

After that, I will be moving the fifth wheel into that area so I can live in my own surroundings instead of in a bunkhouse!  So, I’m sure the blog will still include some RVing, but might also include some towers, mountain top lookouts, and perhaps even some flames!

Nice to see that most of the other Canadian snowbirds have also now returned to the cold snowy north.  The Bayfield Bunch managed to get their new rig back across the line with no delays or problems, John & Brenda and their horses have been riding in the snow, preparing for the mud, Rick & Paulette are back at home on Vancouver Island, where Jean & Skip have been for a while, Crofts are making their way northward after a winter in Mexico, and Don & Donna will be headed north soon.

Here’s hoping that summer, or at least spring will find us soon!


  1. Glad to see you are getting up in the world. I loaded the new Alberta Wildfire App on my phone so I can keep track of you this summer.

  2. Guess you can't have a fear of heights for that job. I don't think I could climb up those towers.

  3. We are looking forward to your pictures this summer. What a great summer job! We would want to be staying in our own digs, as well, rather than a bunkhouse!

  4. Will they supply parachutes for you & Hailey in case of quick tower exits??

  5. Oh I'm queasy just looking at the pics, LOL!! I'm glad there's people like you to get the job done. Stay safe!!

    Cheers! ~M

  6. Now that sure sounds like and interesting job for the summer, and still be camping. Found you blog and the side bar of the Bayfield Bunch.

  7. This sounds like a really cool job. I bet the views are amazing!