Saturday, August 28, 2010

Backcountry Work Pictures

As promised, here are some pictures from the work trip into Bunker Creek:

A very clean culvert, complete with babbling brook.

Our facilities for the week, custom chainsaw work.

Kitchen/dining room/pantry/storage closet

Solar shower (we never took pictures of our swimming pool in Bunker Creek, but we swam in the icy water every night when we got back to camp).

Looking from the main road up the drainage toward our camp. I think the middle mountain in Tranquil Peak, and camp is at the base of it and about 4 miles away at this point. The mountain on the right might be Warrior Peak.

Home, sweet home.

Bunker Boys hard at work: Benny (left) and Shawn

A sampling of our food during the week. This is breakfast one morning: hashbrowns, bacon, and huckleberry "man"-cakes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Working in the Backcountry

I just got out on Monday from a 6-day backcountry hitch for my job with the Forest Service. They packed in a camp complete with a wall tent, wood stove, and literally a ton of food with a pack string of mules for us to stay in. There were three of us on the trip and we all had a good time.

The work itself is a continuation of a Culvert Inventory project created 3 years ago in order to ease pressure from Environmental groups and the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. For those of you who don't know, a culvert is a metal, plastic, or wooden pipe laid under a road surface when the road is constructed in order to drain water from one side of the road to the other without it damaging the road itself. Our crew surveys permanently closed roads (those that are still considered a part of the Forest Service road "system," but are closed to motorized vehicle access for the indefinite future) for water drainage issues and damaged or plugged culverts. Then we clean them out with hand tools, take some measurements and pictures, and then move on our merry way. Our backcountry camp in the Bunker Creek drainage of the Spotted Bear Ranger District was required because of a combination of the remoteness of the roads, their length, and the number of culverts.

We cranked hard and got the work done a day early, covering 65 odd miles on foot and on bicycle, surveying close to 15 miles of road, and cleaning nearly 50 culverts in the process. Our daily schedule consisted of waking, eating a huge breakfast, heading out to work a 8-12 hour day, coming back and jumping in the icy creek to clean up before consuming a large dinner, and then relaxing a little while reading or playing cribbage before falling into bed before it even got dark. When I get some pictures of the trip from one of my coworkers I'll post them so you can see our camp setup.

When I get some pictures