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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


August has been a busy month with more work and another fire.

We got called to a fire near Bridgeport, CA. The initial reports made it sound promising, but hardwork made it mostly contained when we got there. Bummer for me. It was right next to the Marine Mountain Warfare Training center for Marines training to go to Afghanistan so they were very interested in us getting it completely out. So we were there for four days and were staying in the barracks on base. There were a few to many crew cuts for me, and they were impressed with our organization and quickness. They also flew in a sweet helicopter and that impressed all of us.

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It's also harvesting season in the garden. After a weak start, things are looking good I have pepers, cucumber, Squash and very small spinach growing along with some pretty flowers.

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And with my birthday coming up, it's time to renew my passport. I can't believe they let me keep this picture for ten years. A little different now. Sixteen was not the best year for me. At least now I have something to show my children when they think they have it rough.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Perseids Meteor Shower

We went out to catch the Perseid's Meteor shower on the Playa.

It is my favorite event of the year because the weather is perfect and the group is small and entertaining. We had a great time again.

There were probably 30 to 40 people out there, most associated with the Nevada Outdoor School because it was the official graduation of the year long Americorps members. We started off with a potluck bar-b-q where Stephanie made personal pizzas on the grill. Then Will Rogers served the best margaritas ever that should really just be a shot. No one knows the recipe because by the end everyone is to drunk to remember. Will is one of the two founding members of Burning Man back when it was ten people on the beach. I think he isn't really happy with what it's become.

One guy this year brought a mini cannon that he filled with gunpowder and set of quite a noise. We tried launching a beer can out of it, and we never found it. It either exploded or launched further then we walked. Hard to say.

After the awards ceremony we played on the playa. There were some big fireworks and we went through some sparklers. It's really amazing how you can just run forever out there and never feel like you get anywhere. As the moon set we saw more and more shooting stars and a few of us even stayed up till the moon was completely down and the milky way was amazing.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

New Fork Fire

As I mentioned in my previous post, I got called away from my conference to a fire in Wyoming and it was raining when I got here.

It was a real downer, because we thought the fire was going to go for the full 14 days we allowed to work. Being her less then a week almost made it not worth leaving the conference. I was excited to come because it was my first time to come to a fire to make maps.

Also our set up was pretty sweet. We had a mapping trailer that was set up. It had comfortable chairs, ac, internet connection and satellite TV. Not a bad way to live, and kind of surreal since we were 15 miles from the nearest town and all of our power comes from generators. The food isn't that bad and we have a shower trailer. Kind of amazing what gets set up for these.

The rain limited what I could do, but I did learn a few things about the process of setting up and breaking down. I also got to run into an old friend that I did fires with in '04.

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I got off on Friday night and went up to see Dom in Jackson. It was spur of the moment organization, but it was a great time. We caught up on old high school gossip and wherabouts. Next time I'm in the Jackson area, I'm really going to have to stay for longer. The place is absolutly geogours. Maybe our next fire can be there again.

San Diego

I was lucky to get a ticket to go to the ESRI User Conference in San Diego.

I was excited to get out of the Muc for a bit and see some sights in sunny San Diego. But then on Saturday night, hours before I left, I got a call that my fire team was being mobilized to Wyoming. So I had to change plans quickly, and I scheduled to leave for Wyoming on Wednesday.

So I had to make the most of my time in San Diego. Then in flying down there, I got booted off my connection in San Francisco, so I didn't make it to San Diego till 10. Ugh. The next day was check-in and the big kick off. They talked about all sorts of improvements for the software and other things that make map people excited. They said there was 14,000 people there from 120 countries. I believed them when I got up and walked to the back.

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The next day was full of smaller presentations and I saw a speaker from Rwanda and met a girl from Russia, I also ran into a few people that I knew from various points of work. Tuesday night they had the Federal reception, which is always code for free party, and it did not disapoint.

Wednesday I flew up to Jackson, WY and had a pretty scenic flight, but driving down to Pinedale where the fire was, I went through a big rainstorm and it was raining on the fire when I got there. Bummer.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rebel Creek

Last weekend Jessica led a Leave No Trace course up Rebel creek, north of town.

We had a great time and went backpacking for Saturday night. It was about five miles in and we had all ranges of experience. I think everyone had a great time and learned a lot about teaching Leave No Trace principals to others.

Our hike was only five miles in, but all uphill and the first 3.5 through the desert in the heat of the day. It was rough on a lot of the group and I ended up taking two gallons of water off people. We were also a little surprised to have cows in our campsite that were unexpected. There was a bit of a smell, but it was workable.

The hike out was a lot better, downhill with much less water. We stopped for awhile next to a spring that was covered in moss. It was a perfect little scene, so we took a group picture. We got back to the trucks and wrapped it up. Not a bad weekend.

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