Monday, March 3, 2008

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.

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