Monday, March 31, 2008

03: 01: 2008

Greetings to my 5 readers. This is a public service announcement on behalf of my future Dark Over Lord, Scott Sigler. Tomorrow is Siglers Fools day as an Original Junkie it is my duty to help my future over lord rise to power in doing so he might spare me from a long painful and bloody death. I like to be sanguine not to become sanguine(Bloody, there is some irony to that word not lost on all readers).

In the desire to be spared when his plaid tanks roll across the globe I am going to pimp his new book,Infected. In stores everywhere, at least in america, tomorrow. He has risen from the obscure depths of internet stardom to landing full scale print deal, and if you are looking for a new experience one that will have you looking over your shoulder, staring with worry at your knife block and wondering just what was that itch then this book is for you. And don't make me get the Chicken Scissors, we would not want that now would we. So go out and pick up Infected, its a hell of a ride.

And mother since I know you read this, there is a copy on the way from Amazon, if you want to sleep at night don't try to read

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Why of some things

A quick note.

I posted on the 18th about Clarks death. This prompted me to pick up a book I had sitting around for months unread. Not a Clark peace, I do not have any of his works on me but something he likely would have approved of. Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot.

I have learned perhaps a few new things but I have read enough popular science books about the solar system and a like to make an other one short on surprises. I don't intend to make this a book review but I do have to say that Sagan, is very readable. He has always been one of my I should read authors.

So I was reading the first few chapters, about half the book is a review of the knowledge of the solar system as it was known in 1994. Which is not all that different from now only we have a few more fine details worked out. As he was working through a chapter on vulcanism, describing all the weird materials that erupt from the surfaces of many small worlds in this star system I had a feeling I had forgotten. I became excited by the odd little worlds that orbit the giants of the outer reaches. I was reminded of why I studied Earth and Environmental Science in the first place.

It must have been 2002 or 2003, I had just returned to university after a couple years of bumming around and was ready to get on with my education. I had not yet found a major, but I wanted to choose some direction quickly so I could plan around graduating rather then taking the first year sampler program. So I found my self taking Human Geography, and Earth and environmental science, both were first year classes. I had in my first two years taken some Geography for what worked out as easy credits, mostly, and was toying with it as a major. I ended up rejecting geography based on the fact I did not like human geography ( sociology with maps) and because it would have been an arts degree, something some how against my principles. I have nothing against arts degrees, I have something against me having one.

So I ended up in Earth and environmental science because of the two first year classes I took on my return to school it was the class I liked the best. Of coarse, I always had hope of being involved in space science one way or another, I had long since realized I lacked the over achieving workalholic nature to become an astronaut. So I rationalized my choice as follows, I can not know if we will ever find life in space but I know we will find rocks so I might as well study them.

For some time I have been working a conventional job, ignoring that baseline passion of mine. I get more excited about the happenings of a world the sizes of a hill of beans then I do about most maters around my current job. I could quickly be talked into reading technical papers about those worlds well before I would start to devout my spare time to the Yellow Knife Greenstone belt and or the Southern Slave Province. So a little Carl Sagan reminded me of first love in science. I can not let my self for get that.

Other things that should be remembered are the first and second degree contacts I am an email and a favor away from reaching if I had a reason. I once met a senior researcher from NASA who has been with them for what looks like forever, with a CV I can not begin to recall, what I do recall is he worked on training some of the Apollo astronauts in field geology and much later was a lead author on a paper that caused much debate. ALH84001, is still being studied I believe.

I do recall spending an evening in a lecture with some equally nerdy friends and going to a rather busy social after wards where I apparently made a good impression and also I met one of canadas more famous geologists that night, but diamonds have never been my thing.

So as I sit here in the frozen north I remind my self of the why of my choice of profession and the need to find my way on the the path I have always wanted. I have met the right people, I have a passion now I have a challenge to over come. Not the challenge of applying to grad school, which will be a drag but the challenge of over coming my own poor thinking. I have been poor enough for long enough that I resist any change to a secure situation even if it is not completely satisfying. That attitude kept me flipping burgers at the same joint for close to two and a a half years before the demands of school over powered that job.

I suppose I need a touch more faith.
As it was said in the year 2259, Faith manages.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Homeless: Discontent Part III

Homeless: Discontent Part III

I am homeless. Clearly I am not broken down living on the street. I could rent a place to live if I choose to. I have not made that choice in the last two years.
For two years less two months I have been working out here at Discovery in the North West Territory. I have been staying in a camp for six weeks at a time with two weeks off. Maintaining a place, through paying rent is clearly a waste of money. As a result I can not call any place mine. To fill the need of a place to be I have returned to a place that was always partly mine, I have started to say withe my parents during my time off something of a default.

So I returned to a default, one seldom used for the long term but, logical for now. The arrangement is economical for me, I pay in to the food bill, and once or twice my labour has been used as well. This set up is made favourable by the log cabin on the property. The old house, gives me the privacy I want with the added bonus of good acoustics and a wood stove. But it is not mine, it will never be mine. It will always be the families, there will always be a mix of stuff; Mine mixed in with the stuff left behind by the sister and the stuff that has always been there. It is also located near Nakusp a town that I can not call home even though I grew up there. I get cabin fever too quickly out there.

My Homeless state is something of a function of the taking this job and the time leading up to that choice. During the spring of 2006, I was finishing up my degree and having a rough time of it. My interest in schooling was waning again, I have a meta cycle in my life that brings me in and out of school periodically, but that is for its own post. Because of my fading interest in school my interest and efforts to apply to grad school were falling short. I had ordered up a few info packages and application forms but I had not really done the proper research needed to do that seriously. So I defaulted to taking the first good job that came along.

Taking this job has lead to a from of mental homelessness. When I did not pursue grad school and therefore did not get accepted I was left with no where to go. Grad school would have given me a place to live, because the school that would accept me would make its city my home. Choosing where to live for me. Instead my work makes it possible for me to live any where not too far from an airport. But my work also makes living any were seem pointless. As long as I am renting not buying and as long as I am out here for six weeks I have no solid motive to hunt for a place.

I have traveled too little even with in Canada to have enough of a base line to know which towns I want to live in. But I want to live some where I can call mine. I am too much of a homebody to want to live this disconnected life forever.

Right now I partly live out my car, keeping a chest of useful things in it for when I land. Its a good thing too, I always have a change of civilian cloths for when I come out of the bush. It lets me head of to visit friends with out hesitation, but my car is not home. It has helped me survey a few towns. I have taken a liking to Penticton, but I remain unconvinced of the long term appeal of that town.

Vancouver has many charms but I would not want to do it two weeks at a time I would want it full time or not at all. All in all I don't know where I want to live just yet. I suspect that when I get my ass in gear I will start to seriously apply to grad schools, I will eventually get accepted and that will bring my original plan to completion. Leaving me with a life style that lets me sleep in my own bed more nights then not.

White: Discontent Part II

White. Discontent part II

Its winter. I have opened at least one post with that opening and I could start most of them with it. We get ten months with snow on the ground up here. Its too much.
I have never hated winter, some years when I was younger I longed for snow. I will always like seasonality, having too much of the same all year long is no fun. I have lived in Kelowna, in one of Canada's hottest and driest climates and even there I had winter. They were short and mild down there but there was a marked difference in the seasons. During those years I almost felt I had too much summer. Now that I have had my second winter up north I can honestly say excess winter is worse then excess summer.

It is no longer the cold that is getting to me. The worst of that is over, with the temperature climbing from a mid winter low of -50ish up to highs of -10ish, it is almost warm. The sun now packs some warmth on calm day it will warm you. I have spent time out side in a sweater and hat no need for the parka. The cold that has been adapted to, its the white that drives me mad now.

White, I have traded the grey/greens and browns of the dry interior for the grey of naked stone in the summer and endless whiteness the rest of the year. Its getting to me now more then ever because the sun which is now able to provide warmth for the first time in months is now bright enough to strain my eyes. Leaving me half blinded when I transit from out side to inside.

The eye strain is short lived. I do not spend enough outside time for snow blindness to be an issue. The stain on the mind is an other matter. It would seem that I have a talent for living in places that have the wrong colour. First the Okanagan and now the north, both lack some thing green. It took me years to see it the first time, after all I was happy to be out of Nakusp and away from the endless over cast that marked the winter months there. But every time I traveled back that way or to the coast I came a cross a feeling of rightness to the rich green nature of those wetter climates.

So I find my self now in a sea of white, in a climate that is on paper nearly as dry as the one I left in the Okanagan. One of these days I will have to find a place thats the right colour.


I have over the course of this blog aimed to keep a positive tone and have mostly cheerful posts. I hope that in that time I have managed to bring across an image of my work and life out here. The last week as I had said in the preamble to the March 21st post, has not been a happy one. With my two year mark two months away its time to take a look at some of things that have brought me down at this job or because of the life style out here. I am not depressed for say, nor do I hate my job, out right, but its time to take a closer look at the cost of being out here.

I have to put these thoughts out so I can be honest with myself, because there will be a day when I will have had too much of this place and if I make public my thoughts on the negatives of this life then perhaps I will be able to find support for when I choose to make the move to the next thing.

Stay tuned, for a few rants, Starting with White, followed by Homeless more coming as I think about them

Friday, March 21, 2008

Life In Exile

I am writing this as I am having a stressed out week. Nothing specific has happened to stress me, work is much the same, and the people at work are much the same. Nothing has gone drastically wrong lately and camp has emptied out of much of the riff raff that crowed the place. So then why did I suddenly become stressed, because I woke up this week and knew that I was threes from going home and seeing the peoples I care about. The warm fussy memories that I stared this rotation with, keeping me in a sanguine mood mutated into a cold reminder of how far away I am and how long it will be until I can find my self in that same company.

I am coming up on two years of working in the North. I am currently at the half waypoint of my work rotation just having passed the 3-week mark of a six-week rotation. I will leave here on April 10th, and some time after I return to here my two year mark will be crossed, that being May 26. I first landed here on May 26 2006. I was a fish out of water, eager to learn and nervous about messing up.

When I first took this job some friends at university said that they would not take it, being that far way for that long was not worth it for them. They were neither as single nor as broke as me at the time. By the time I took this job I had $300 bucks to my name and few enough close friend back in Kelowna that leaving did not cost me that much. Also at the time I had few other leads on jobs so I jumped on this one. That was not a bad choice; it was one partly out of need and the fear that comes with it. I had no money, I was also tired of being broke. I had spent the last 6 years squeezing by barely able to afford my apartment and certainly not able to afford much else. So I took the job, moved out of my old shoebox and flew up north to work in gold exploration.

I choose to take the job, I have not chosen the life style. I have not made the choice to make exploration geology my profession. I made the choice to take a job at a time when I needed one. Now I start to face the cost of the money. Four or so years a go I had my first field job, it out Goldstream way near Revelstoke. I made an observation about this line of work during that time that still stands. They pay is good but the cost is high.

The pay is good but the cost is high. The cost comes from working six weeks at a time with two weeks off. It’s not living. When I first took this job, the pay was worth the cost, not much was left behind. Things change being away is something that carries a stronger meaning now and with that a higher cost. It is not longer enough to say I am not broke.

I stared out working up here very single with nothing to suggest that would change and this line of work makes changing that difficult. The very reason I am in the best financial situation of my life is same reason I have no life. Two weeks off after six out here is not living. Life happens, with out intent logic or planning I found my self-going out with the same woman more then once. In that context the idea of being away starts to mean something again. With each visit down south since September last year the cost of being away has increased. In the short term there is still good sense in continuing to work up here.

It’s the long term I have to keep in mind. I work with people for whom this self-imposed exile in the field is a choice. This is the life willing lived. I have not in full made that choice for my self. I have not chosen to accept this job, profession or as I am convinces, mental illness as the life I want to live

To resign my self to long months in the wilderness away from loved ones. I cannot in my heart say this is the life I want to live. It is not; it was never my plan to live this life full time. It was my idea to work this life in the short term to gain experience, to do something other then school. I had placed an arbitrary limit of two years of this work before moving on. The time is almost up. What's next?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


News Flash.

Arthur C Clark, died today. I don't know the details, you will have heard them by now any way. I have read some of his works very far from all. Much of his works fall under the listing of things I should read someday. A few of his works have stuck with me and have aged well.

So next time you turn on the Satellite TV or check the weather satellite give him thanks. The Geosychronous Orbit was his invention some time back in the 1940's, and for that alone every one owes him a little.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Entertainment Report

Northern Lites Entertainment Report.

Well Readers Its time for an up date on what I have been reading and watching as the rest of the camp watches Hockey. When I am out in civilization I tend to spend some money on books and DVDs to keep my self amused when I am up here in the white cold north. By now I should know better, then to buy books and DVDs on the same break. The same hours exist for reading books as watching discs and the discs eat enough time that I fall farther and farther behind in my reading. So then what am I watching or reading.

Currently after much delay, and waiting for it to warm up out side some I have started to take a chunk out of Worst Journey in the World. The account of one on Scotts Crewmen, Apsley Cherry-Garrard and his quite literally chilling adventures in Antarctica from 1910 to 1913. Loosely speaking this book is research for a science fiction novel I have in mind. Under the I should be reading list is The New Weird, a short story collection I picked up because I liked the editor Jeff Vandermee.

I am watching,
Robot Chicken Season 1

B5 Season 4, only one more season and I have the whole run of the show less the made for TV movies that are part of the same universe. Its geeky but good story telling which is why it is one of two Sci Fi Drama's I am willing buy the full run of on DVD. The other is BattleStar Galactica. Season three will be out when I head south next and I will be picking it up.

Futurama, Benders Big Score. Its the Futurama Movie, there is time travel involved which means a loopy plot.

South Park, Bigger Longer UnCut, years late I at last watch the south park movie, only to have the songs pop into my head at horrible moments.

Ratatouille, Contrary to what a fell form Saskachwan said, it is not a movie about a rat. It is a movie about being an Artist, it just happens to have a rat in it. Its a fun intelligent and well writen film. It leaves me hungry too.

Family Guy the Freaking Sweat Collection: Sure the Simpsons have been knocked off but its funny. That said there is not much point in buying Family Guy discs, since it is forever on in reruns some where. If am going to get any animated shows its going the be Futurama, pure geeky goodness.

An Entertainment report would be incomplete with out listing some of the internet Audio content I keep on my Ipod to help my work days go by. What I listen to is always in a state of flux, new shows or audio books are being added old ones I finish or grow tired of and are removed from my feeds.

The newest addition is Seth Harwood's Jack Palms 3, I liked the other two, fun action movie style story telling.

Other Favourates,

Scott Sigler
is still in my feeds, currently I am listening to Nocturnal, I just had my fix of this weeks episode and will have to wait for part 20. He is not for the faint of heart.

Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff. Of his I am currently listening toTransistor Rodeo Transistor Rodeo, his first to date all ages podcast.

When Robots Run Amok in The City of Los Angeles Some Thing Bad is Bound To happen.

Fore the less discriminating listener I listen to Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff and his buddy Mike, trade BS, on The Pascific Coast Hellway. And I catch Mike Sprouting BS and digging up good Tunes on UCRadio. A few of my letters have found their way on to these shows. These LA based dudes, have a hard time with the idea of -20 and think I am mad for coming out this way. I am mad, but for totally different reasons that precede my traveling north. These two goons have are also responsible for getting some dumb ass songs stuck in my head thanks to Pussy The Musical

This aint a complete list but its the ones that stand out.

Saturday, March 15, 2008



This post should have been released in early January when I wrote It, I forgot I had it, It might be a little rough. I have released as I found it.

Its WInter, that is not news. But it is deep winter and that means it is road season. I was watering the snow flowers the other morning at some point during dawn. As I stood facing Winter lake, I spotted a flash out on the ice. And a thought crossed my mind. It is not a new thought its seasonal. The thought is that this place is more isolated during the summer then during the winter.

The last few days have seen some new visitors. Residents in fact. As part of a contract we host a portion of RTL's road construction crews. We host them and in return the return road passes by our camp. This gives us access to the outside world at a tiny fraction of the cost of having to order a ice road build specifically for this camp. So now we have some new faces and some old ones from last year.

To accompany the new faces is an small armada of heavy machinery. Wolverines, Hinderbrands, a few different style of snow cats, machines never seen south of 60.

Road building out here is very different form southern latitudes. Gone is the compacted gravel, the hot tar and graders. Instead there are snow, plows of various grades, fro braking trail or for establishing a usable road. Hot tar is replaced with water. Rather then binding loose bits of gravel with a nearly liquid heavy oil product, the road is strengthened and smoothed with ice.

Where the ice is less then the full thickness, but temperatures low, water is pumped from the lake on to the road surface. This flood ice is not as strong as natural ice but the addition of extra inches more then covers for the slight weakness of the flood ice.

(Science Geek Moment). The trouble with waiting for the ice to thicken naturally is that ice is an insulator. In order for the ice to thicken, the energy of the water, underneath it has to be released to the surface before the water can cool enough to freeze. But because ice can not convect, being solid, heat can only move all be it slowly through conduction or radiation. The result the thicker the ice the better the insulation and the colder it has to get for the ice to get any thicker. Add snow to the mix and insolation gets even better and the ice thinner for a given temperature.

By pumping the water to the surface, its heat can be dumped strait into the air. With out the insolation of the overlaying ice it freezes quickly. Off of the lakes water is also used to improve the ice roads.

On the portages, which with the exclusion of a few miles of road near Yellowknife the portages are not perminent lengths of road. Rather the portages are trails cut out of the bush, the route can change from year to year. Without permanence these trails are rough. Which is where the water trucks come in. Rough portages are flooded this solidifies the trail. The compacted snow and ice obscures many of the bumps.

After all this work and thermodymanics we are a couple hours from town. This lets us have visitors. Today we were visited by someone from the propane company, in a effort to keep our supply from liquifying and killing the heat and hot water at camp.

Frozen Foody Hell

A rather rough Rant.

I think I hate Yellowknife.

I have been in town working out of a hotel for a few days. A city without friends is more isolating then a camp. It has the down sides of the north without the advantages of a camp's simplified living. Out here its cold, I am in a hotel room with a barely functional kitchenet. So I am faced with trying to cook or going out or calling out for food. There is a second side effect to this posting I eat alone. At camp even though there were days I did not want all the company that was there eating alone was not enforced.

After the before mentioned few days in town I now have a biased and under informed opinion of the dining situation in this town. Firstly its a small city, there is not room for more then a couple shops of any type and many shops have no competition so service can be slack. The basis for my biased and ignorant opinion is that this town is built around Newfies and central canadians. Everyone comes here for work, many are or were miners. With them comes simple meat and potatoes eating habits.

To support this I will site that I have for the first time seen buckets of Naval cured salt beef in grocery stores, with the island of newfoundland stamped on the side of the bucket. The other thread of evidence is the unhealthy number of eateries offering, Specializing in Chinese and Wester.

You know the type of eatery, cheap plastic and chrome chairs next to formica covered tables, which were looking dated by the mid 60's. Often ran by a family who at one point were the token asians in the town. And I am sorry but you can not specialize in Chinese and Western foods, either you are a specialist in one or the other.

One last thought, feel free to take offense to this if wish. I will freely say that I am poorly traveled. But I will also say that of the places I have been Yellowknife is home to more natives then any other town I have visited. So the thought crossed my mind, why is there not a single native eatery, serving traditional food. I want to see the Dead Dog Cafe, serving 1001 things you can do with a Cariboo.

Mail the Opera

Nothern Lites Presents Mail the Opera: A Farce.

Post Card Prelude.

In the beginning there was a post card. I found it in the Yellowknife air port gift shop. It was pretty with a picture of the Northern Lights one better then I could ever take. I picked it up to send to a friend who I knew would like the random surprise of it. I picked it up without having an address to send it to or even a stamp to send it with. Those failures were quickly fixed. Armed and ready I wrote out my note in my best(worst) script and pondered how to send it on its way.

I was at camp, no roads to town at that time, and there was chaos around the planes. Lots of flights coming in but I was always else where when they came in. A week after my arrival I sent it off with Doug, the site manager. This almost worked. It got passed off to the chief Geologist and some how made its way back to Doug.

Through Doug it traveled to Saskatoon Sask, where after a week in hiding it was cleared out of the depths of a brief case. I have been told that an extra note was added to it. I had spent some a few seconds worrying about the content of that extra message, but all people in the loop have a good sense of humour. My worries were replaced with a good laugh and an interesting story to relay. Ultimately the card was well received and unlike other items it was received.

License Fugue.

Events parallel to those of the post card. On the day that post card started its journey out of the store to BC, I was on the last leg of my trip north. As is routine I had stayed the night in Edmonton. As is often the case I slept poorly. Worse then normal, that night. I slept for 20 minuets at a time. I was dead in the morning. Which is how I managed to forget my Drivers License. It was folded up in a spent West Jet boarding pass. I was able to sweet talk my way through the air port.

Once at the gate I tried to call the hotel. My phone was dead, thankfully airports are the last hold out of pay phones. It was easy to call the hotel and have it sent south to family. So far so good. It made it home in a little over a week. During that week I picked up what I was told was an address that would get things to me.

This package like the post card before it spent a week in hiding before it got sent out. By this time my rotation was nearing the half way mark, and speed in postage became key. I tracked the package online. I saw what day it arrived in Yellowknife.

I was in Yellowknife. It had vanished. two and an half days in town talking to all the people at all the places it logically could have shown up, and nothing, nada, zip.
After those couple days I had became convinced I should become a Spy master and say to hell with the geology.

B.C. Coda.

A day or two after my pointless running around Yellow Knife, I was back in BC. I had a busy time off planned. Mostly things went as planned, and it was a generally sanguine time. Its vacation like qualities were masked by things like a trip to the dentist. As I was running around half of BC I had concluded that drivers license was fully lost.

So as I was waiting to go into to the dentists chair, I set the wheels in motion to replace my lost ID. Because I had lost or placed securely in a safe place some other key papers, I had to start from scratch. Two cities later, the day of my departure for the north I was able at last to start the replacement of the lost drivers license. It was in the mail after I came back up north.

I have not yet seen this new version. I have no faith in the post so the new one can wait for me to come to it. My temporary one will be valid long enough to get me home where I can take my new peace of plastic into my hands.

For the musical score to this opera please send $1dollar, cash, to
Po Box 111, Nowhere drive,
Nowhere BC, N0W 0R1.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Silly Stuff

From Skepchick
comes movie preview that I hope is for a real film.

Monday, March 3, 2008

All Alone In the Night

The last post ended with me returning to the hotel at Quarter to 12pm. It is the drive not the work that brings this post to me. As always I write around work, avoiding specifics which can lead to trouble and honestly no on cares about a day to day log of my life up here. So I look for slices that stand out above the noise of work and the silences of snow. Though out here some times the absence of contrast can be as out standing as the brightest of days. For there is something humbling about the north.

And Down right scary at times, this though is not the gland stimulated rush resulting from a stuck snow mobile on a narrow trial, but something more demanding. After I expending my energies unstucking my self successfully finishing my Friday I had to get to the hotel. To do that I had to drive an ice road. The rout was marked, heck as long as I took the first turn as a right not a left I was headed to town no trouble. The trouble became mental.

It was Prosperous Lake, one of the larger lakes in the Yellowknife area. The roads on the larger lakes are plowed wide, to let the ice thicken and to leave room for the big haulers. So there I was Miles from any were, a faint red glow reflecting of the clouds to the south that was Yellow knife, and every thing else was white and black. It can shake me of my normally sanguine attitude.

It was real night time, no moon no stars and civilization. At the edge of my field of view was the white snow banks that defined the side of the ice road and the odd patch of white that was snow drifting across the road.

Were it not for the clouds in the sky, that icy plane surrounded by black could be any of a dozen or more small worlds speckled through out this solar system. It was just me and the truck, A self contained world 3 meters long located in neutral territory All alone in the night.

Frosted Face

I have recently returned from a busy but generally satisfying trip down south. A trip that saw me spending more nights in hotels then my own bed. Of the 14 nights I had off I spent 8 nights in four different cities. My being a slut to geography caused me to never loose my work sleep pattern. Waking me to consistently at 5:15 am and having to force my self back to sleep.

Lots got done on that trip, some fun and too much paperwork to be a full on vacation, it was just an extension of life, I was not working but it was not fully time off. But this rambling about time off is beside the point, I am back up north and work is dominating my attentions again.

Work has taken a twist, a change to routine has taken place, along with a shift to my time table sent me home a week early to bring me back a week earlier to fit a gap when we will be under staffed. So that gets me to last Friday and Saturday. I came in as usual on a Thursday and had easy half day back with some quick briefing and some simple errands.

The Friday was a little more interesting, I took my first trip to the drill on a Ski Do. If you think that is fun remember this, technically I am half blind and I can not operate in the real world without my glasses. Snow mobiles are not part of my normal world. In the hope of not getting frost bite over the hole of my face I ware a helmet. The company has one that on paper is designed to prevent fogging up. On paper that is. In practice I find my self faced with two equal evils.

The choices have become, try to ride the sled with the helmet sealed up and no glasses, or try to drive with an open visor or no helmet at all. The reason for these choice is, visor down and glasses on leads to fogged up glasses and a clear visor, if I am lucky if I am unlucky both get fogged up. When Things get fogged up at -30 they instantly freeze up and leave me blind. The visor up or helmet off option work only at warmer temperatures as the near case of frost bite from saturdays adventures attests.

Friday I managed to navigate the trail with the aid of the drill crew for both the in both directions. But the local navigation proved more difficult, the main trail is easy, there is only one main branch, its difficult to get lost. But around the drills there are many local small trails and a missed turn gets me into trouble.

I took a trail that I thought would take my to the main trail back to the road, it was a dead end. Barely ridden with lots of ruts pits and side slops. At this time I was riding without the glasses but the visor was clear so I had some vision, enough to see the trail, but not enough to read the trail. I got stuck again and again.

By the end of the attempt to reach the trail, I was burned out and the sled was still stuck. By that time I had managed to turn around and head some of the way back the way I came. As I struggled with the sled I switched from trying to get errands done to getting my self out of shit. So I walked to drill and got me some help. This delay negated the sense of my trying to head back to town, which was the original goal of my sled trip.

In failing to find the proper trail head I ended up staying at the drill site late to run a test. The day ended late, and I after a long lonely drive home I got in at 11:45pm.

More on that in the upcoming Post All Alone In the Night.