Friday, September 7, 2007

Billy Goating in Glacier NP - September 7th, 2007

This summer Steve and I finally got up to Glacier NP for a hike. It was nice to finally have the fires smoke quelched and some fresh air. The leaves were starting to turn and it felt like it actually might rain. With very loose plans we left Missoula, headed for the park. West Glacier campground was the only thing (except Polebridge) available. We snuggled in with the rest of the RVs and tourons. Elk steaks and a few beers brought down the night.

The morning was damp and cool. While I was just wiping the crust out of my eyes, I heard a distant elk bugle. And then another, which I guess is pretty rare in West. It wasn't the weather we had hoped for, but there were breaks in the clouds. The Logan Pass parking lot was pretty full even by 9am. Steve started pointing at all the options and we decided on Mt. Clements. The below pic is what you see from the parking lot. We climbed up the side you can't see.

I had no idea what we were in for and apparently Steve didn't remember how gnarly it was. Lots of exposure and pucker factor. The trail we literally carved into the side of a 2000ft cliff. It was like walking on a sidewalk, except you weren't allowed to trip or stumble. The views on the summit we unreal. The weather held up and we made it down safely. The next day the legs were beat (see out of shape) so we made an excuse about the weather and drove home............with our tails between our legs.

Heres a pic of a ram posing in the parking lot of Logan Pass (looks fake, huh?)

Hiking up towards the peak we passed this angry mob

Steve cruising the ridge

Me hanging it all out there

Strike a pose


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jocko Lakes fire

Well, I'm back home for now. I had quite the work roll there for quite some time. I managed to work about 35 days with only 3 days off. Its nice to be back in civilization for now. I'm enjoying the modern amenities that take for granted sometimes, like your bed and toilet.

I was up on the Jocko Lakes fire working as an EMT for the last 16 days. I worked a total of 250 hours during that time. Days consisted of waking up at 5:45 every morning, stumbling up to the mess tent to get the coffee you needed so bad, then going straight to the medical tent.

For the next 2 hours we would wait for firefighters to come rambling in, most of them requiring only cold medication. I'd say about 50% of the camp had some sort of cold/snot thing going. After the morning rush, we rolled out the fire in the SUV and staged in strategic spots awaiting in would be medical emergencies. In the mean time I took pictures, read books and played John Madden 08'.

Crews would usually head into camp around 9pm, then we'd get to eat. Meals were huge, but I tried to limit my consumption, as I really wasn't burning many calories sitting in the rig all day. We closed out the day manning the medical tent until 11 pm, administering cold medication and other things that make a FF's life a little better.

Some ff's in the meadow watching a burn out operation

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Nice mullet eh?
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Helitanker dipping out of a local pondPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We managed to breakup some of the monotony by hooking some fatty rainbows out of a local lake. Here's a FF from Phoenix with a 2 pounderPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

They used some CL-215 planes out of Canada on the fire. These things scoop up 2000 gallons out of the lake and drop it like retardantPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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An old barnPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A huge burn out operation near Finley MeadowsPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting