Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Working for Mark Part 2

Work Day 4

Another day at the office.  It is Day 4 out in the field.  We're now on the back half of our sites.  One site a day isn't too bad.  Today's site isn't yet marked out.  We're heading into the bush to find the point that corresponds to the GPS.  Good luck :)

To make life easier, we're taking the UTV up the pipeline road and along the cutblock road.  Then it will just be a 300 m hike through the cutblock and 600 m through the forest.
Oh, did I mention that the cutblock road was deactivated so we went up and down all the dips.  It was more fun than any Wonderland ride.

Ummmm....  I thought the UTV was suppose to make it easier.  Ok, so on the way there there was only one tree that needed to be chopped because it had fallen somewhat and was too low to get under.  But on the way back we tried going a different way to see if it would be simpler for tomorrow.  Some of the deactivation dips were much larger and had soft mud.  So we put trees in some so we could get through.  There were also trees across the road that we had to chop up (we tried winching, but no luck).  Then the road ended.  It appeared to start on the other side of a small area, so we drove around the stumps to get to it.  But no,  what looked like a road, was not in fact a road and we couldn't really go anywhere.  So we turned around, went back through the stumps, and restructured the dips so we could go back across them.  After much trying, sweat and swearing, we concluded that no, it is not an easier way.

Mark contemplating today's plot.  Not nearly as difficult as day 2. 

 A neat find in our plot.

Lots of bug bites.... guess I should have left the bug net on.  

Quality Falls near Tumbler Ridge.  After work and dinner, we took a nice, short (1 km) well developed trail down to these falls.  Absolutely beautiful.  (and cold)

Work Day 5

 Day 5 took us back to the same place as day 4 - well, we parked in the same place and took the UTV down the same roads, but today's site was ~ 600 m from yesterday's.  (no, we couldn't have done both in the same day).

 Heading up to the site. 
 We made it!  And what a view!  Ridge top site = great view and cool plants. 

The view is a bit hazy due to all the wildfires in eastern Asia and Siberia.  But it is stunning nonetheless.

 Back at the truck after a long day. 

We ended the day with dinner and a swim down at the dinosaur tracks.  But that is so cool that I'll give it it's own post.

Work Day 6

Last site = last day.  So we packed up the truck and checked out of the hotel. Did I mention that it was a good hotel?  The staff were all friendly.  There had lots of little extras (carwash facilities; playstation; free movies, etc.). We took advantage of the BBQ facilities and the breakfast, which wasn't just muffins and coffee.  Every morning we had egg, bacon/sausage with cream cheese on a bagel - lots of protein for surveying the plants.

 Not too bad of a site - we can pull the truck right up to the site. (well, 50 m away...).  Although, the drive into the site was down some pretty busy logging roads.  Thank goodness we had the radio and could communicate with the other trucks and know when to pull over.  I wouldn't want to meet those big loaded loggers on some of the blind corners. (the road was only one lane).

We found many different plants over the past week.  We must have found over 150 different species.  This one is red paintbrush. I learned lots of new plants and revisited some old ones. They may not be sea urchins, but they're pretty cool.
 Lindsay is up a tree.  Let me tell you why I am up a tree.  No, this isn't some nostalgic moment where I felt the need to relive my childhood (though I am a firm believer that every kid should know how to climb trees).
So we had heard something in the woods.  We didn't see anything, and we weren't too worried.  We continued on with our work.  A while later we were bent down trying to figure out which species of fern we had.  When we thought we had it, we stood up and spread out a bit to continue on our grid survey of the plot.  We heard a gruff noise.  I looked up and saw a blur of brown fur charging towards us - about 40 m away.  I jumped and ran sideways towards Mark.  We darted into the more shrubby area, trying to get some more trees between us and the charging moose.  In the commotion, she stopped, turned and left.  She had gotten her point across - leave her and her baby alone.  We had surprised them when we stood up and started moving again. She didn't want to attack, but she wanted to make sure we didn't bother them.  With adrenaline running through our systems, we scrambled up some trees.  The we made lots of noise.  We stayed up there for a while, yelling so mama would know where we were and wouldn't be surprised again.  We managed to finish the site, but were on edge and calling out the whole time. We heard another rustling in the denser bush beside us and we both pulled out the bear spray just in case.  Then we saw the little squirrel.  There were no more sightings of the moose, but boy, what a day.

A little fishing on the way home. 

We needed a little time to relax.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

haha holy shit....thats crazy....i would have been like "fuck you moose...moose burgers tonight for everyone..."
i would have screamed like a little girl and ran for the hills.

but those are some cool pictures...and a great one of mark fishing ...hopefully it was only the one rod.