Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sorry, I was Ignoring You....On Purpose. Oh and Alberta is Burning.

In general you shouldn't expect much of me  especially when the summer hits.  
Life just gets busy but I'm sure you all understand that unless you live in your parents basement.

When the Alberta Deep Freeze is over life picks up the pace at a fast rate.  Yard work, cleaning, roasting of carcass (BBQ), travelling, boozing, laughing, soaking up vitamin D and all around enjoying life.  One thing that gets very busy as well is work.  Any construction jobs are going like hell right now since our summer season is a very brief window.  It seems like it's about 9 month of winter, split a month for spring/fall and then 2 months of summer.  This year Calgary has seen nothing but shitty rain and Northern Alberta, where we work, has been Hot and dry. 
It's been so hot and dry that basically everything is burning. The town of Slave Lake is mostly gone.  Their Town Hall, Library, and many homes burned to the ground. Some only had an hour to evacuate their homes and get out of town. It was horribly tragic and makes me selfishly thankful that I have not put in that position.

There's not a chance in hell anything around Calgary is burning since IT NEVER SEEMS TO STOP RAINING.   Where we work is a different story.  There are wildfires all around us.
For those who are interested you can go here for details of the fires in the Bitumen Complex.  The big fire (Richardson) is classified out of control at 468,360 hectares. Currently the resourses for the Bitument Complex are as follows:
  • approximately 500 firefighters  
  • 43 helicopters
  • 44 pieces of heavy equipment including water trucks, nodwells and bulldozers
  • 96 command and support staff.
Even the "Martin Mars," is here from Port Alberni, B.C. (My home Town). This is one of the worlds largest "Flying Boats."  A huge ass mofo of a water bomber it is.

May 27th our project was evacuated due to smoke.  I feel that this should have been done sooner, as did my lungs, but we endured these conditions:
The view from the camp Lounge at around 7pm.

Our truck caked with bugs and ash.



The morning we evacuated.

The weather conditions were blue skies and sunny.  It got worse after we left and the camp evacuated all non essential staff.  The fires are very close but the determining factor for smoky conditions is the wind.  The wind was coming from the north and blowing it all our way.  Nothing like having ash falling all around you.

Needless to say I was sick as hell.  I would start getting better then have to come back to work and sick all over again.  When we were homeward bound to Calgary we checked the forecast.  Rain, rain, rain.  I said fuck it and suggested to Manfriend he should look for flights to Las Vegas.  Low and behold he found decent flights and after 2 hours of arriving home we were Nevada bound. 

Our friends bought a trailer located at Echo Bay - Lake Mead so we rented a Durango and headed straight for the desert as soon as we landed.  I also have to say that renting a vehicle in Vegas from National kicks ass.  We have never seen such an easy smooth process.  You walk into the lot, they say pick one, you drive away.   We did want a convertible mustang but of course they were all gone from the morning so we ended up with the Durango.  That was also a very smooth ride. No bitchin' here. 

The Trailer & Durango to the left.
No Rain!!!!

It was such an impromtu trip but a most enjoyable one.  The first day we went driving around and checked out the Valley of Fire.

Petrified Log
It was very windy and I'm going to be in trouble for posting this picture (again).

Near by is the small town of Overton where we picked up groceries and took some random shots. 

A storm started to move in.  We looked to the south and it was nice and sunny...

 Looked to the North....

The rain was short lived and mild so I tucked any bitterness that began to seethe away. 

The next day we rented a boat and did a little tubing on Lake Mead,  which totally hurt my arse by the way.  I just about pooped a little. (Hey that water comes rushing UP pretty hard.)
Looking down at the Marina

The final day we decided to head out and check out Hoover Dam then off to Vegas for a night of gambling for Manfriend. 

We grabbed a room at the Excalibur


Kiss Impersonator

Elvis's leg has been humped so much the paint has worn off!
We only had the day and night in Vegas which of course Manfriend made the best of at the craps table.  We had to leave at 6am to the airport.  I was texting him at 2am to find out where the hell he was.  Luckily he made almost a thousand at the craps table so that was his get out jail free card. 

Sometimes the most spontaneous of trips are the best.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and my cold cleared up. I chalk that up to some Vitamin D and the Desert air. 

We're back to work now and while most are working 21 days straight to catch up, I will be taking my usual days off especially since this is Manfriend's last rotation with me.  He is going to be starting with a different company on June 20th.  The bastard gets to work in Calgary for the summer!!! Leaving me up here to fend for myself.  Told him I'll have to get a camp boyfriend to keep me amused...but not really. 1 man is enough to deal with.  Yeeesh.   
Now that I will be up here for 10 days at a time by myself I will either be blogging a bit more or hitting up the gym. (It's all his fault that I've gained weight of course).

Stay cool and smoke free.


  1. Hahah Awww Heather!
    Well I'm sucked back into the blog vortex for a bit. I shall be around!

  2. CRICKETS!!! Yay, you're back. When I finally crawled out from under my rock almost all my favorite blogger were on hiatus. Good to see you finally.

    Yikes, that fire sounds bad. Glad they finally let you out of there for a bit and the vacation sounds lovely. Spontaneous trips are the best!

  3. You don't post often, but when you do, you play catch-up big time. I loved your post today. Re the butter: it's a lot but I've learned I can use half that amount and still have a lovely sauce. A good olive oil can also be used. I hope you don't get too lonely. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  4. Wow you had a lot going on.

    It seems that Alberta and the American Southwest are all on fire.

  5. ^
    Agree about the fires, though hadn't heard about your on our alleged News.

    Lousy reason to have a time out, but at least you were able to do something cool with it.

  6. As usual, love seeing you in pictures! Glad you got a vacay, looked like fun!
    I couldn't believe the pic of the smoke outside your office! Scary!

  7. Happy to see you're back and blogging us with some great updates & pictures from your adventures :) So glad I work out of Calgary .. Sucking in all the smoke up there just can't be good & it bites that you seem to get ill every time you start a new shift :) Also glad to see you've had a chance to escape and take in some sun & fun!


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