Wednesday, September 23, 2015

End of Fire Season! On the road!

With forest fires raging through much of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, but with wet weather arriving in Alberta, many of our crews were sent on export to assist fire fighting efforts in several of those jurisdictions.  Our fire camp was fairly quiet as a result, but my rumours that the camp was closing apparently had no effect.  I was ready to call it a season and move on.  One project underway was the renovation and addition of a second level to one of our nearby mountain-top lookouts.  However, that was delayed several times as we could not get a heavy-lift helicopter that was needed, as they were all employed elsewhere dropping water on fires!  But eventually we prevailed and one became available, and it spent a couple days moving heavy loads to the mountain top.


My trailer is visible in the background.




New metal deck on it’s way up to the lookout.



Around the same time, as lookouts were starting to close for the season, we were making sure they all had a plentiful supply of propane for next year, by flying in some new tanks.

Slinging pig from ShundaShunda sling

Finally, this happened!  I was finally able to convince them that fire season was over.


It did melt by the next day, but I was hooked up and ready to vacate the area.  The rig had been there unmoved since early May if memory serves me correctly.  All power provided during that time by my solar system, and the black tank didn’t get dumped till I was on the way home.IMG_4802

Great feeling to be done work, and headed down the road with rig in tow!

Here are a couple of 360* photo spheres I did in the latter part of the summer.  The first is taken from the cupola in a fire lookout.  Because I was half in and half out the window, Google had difficulty blending the photos together!


Photo Sphere taken on the shore of Abraham Lake, near the David Thompson resort.  This one worked out much better.  Check it out!image

It’s a bit early to be headed south, so I think Hailey and I will just have to take another pre-roadtrip roadtrip before that time.  How about the west coast and Vancouver Island?

Saturday, September 5, 2015


September is here!

That means work is almost done for another year, and it is almost time to pack up and head south again!


Last time I updated, Hailey and I were still at the fire lookout near Slave Lake, AB.

The flowers were still a-blooming


A family of black bears paid a visit.IMG_9642

And I contemplate my commute down to the ground.IMG_2353

There appeared to be a camera on a nearby communications tower, and another one was topped with spines – perhaps to deter birds, or perhaps as lightning protection?IMG_9647IMG_9646

While there, an exceedingly rare sight!  Hailey actually drinking water out of her own water dish!  She much prefers water out of a sink.  Even if it is her same dish – placed IN the sink!


It had rained a bit, so they opted to fly us out again, rather than risk the muddy road.IMG_9596

Back at home for a few days, the bird feeders created nothing but conflict!


On the other side of the house, a young barn swallow still likes to spend time in the nest.


Several of my friends have turned out to be authors after they retired.  I finally had the time to pick up two of them recently at Chapters.  Randy was a college classmate of mine who spent most of his career with Federal Fisheries, and Rob was born and raised in Jasper National Park, where I worked with him as a Park Warden.


Not to be missed, another recently retired park warden has recently published his first in this series.  George Mercer – Dyed in the Green.  And Dale Portman, another retired park warden and dog handler I worked with in Jasper has several books in print.

Dyed In The Green_Front Cover_Close To FinlaImage result for 'dale portman'Image result for 'dale portman'

And Dale’s wife Kathy Calvert – one of the very first female park wardens in Canada – also has a book  Quest for the Summits, and Guardians of the Peaks, which she co-authored with her husband.

I hope I have not missed any more author friends …!

I think that should do for this post – have to save something for the next one.