Content in -17

I think I may be as content as a melodramatic person can be.

Though I am not boasting about work, I can’t complain about it. At night I have time to read and write. Tonight I forced 5 people in the kitchen to play games with me and that’s always a good laugh.

Today I went for a ride in the Snow Cat, which is a snow bulldozer the size of a living room. I got motion sickness for the first time in my life but it was still fantastic. At 2 million dollars, the snow removal budget for our camp is better than North Vancouver’s.

I have nothing to boast out of proportion and Tuesday I have plans to go snowshoeing. This is oddly satisfying.


I like my coffee black and de-thawed

Thank god my job no longer entails being outside because I nearly died getting to the office this morning – let me tell you about the ordeal.

I filled my thermos with coffee and got out my hat. Trust me, I was really pushing my bundling up threshold with the hat – this is the girl that suffocates in long sleeve shirts. I asked Susan if she was driving down to the office and she said no, but offered me her quad.

I didn’t know how to say no without looking like an ungrateful wimp. I asked her which one it was, even though the snowy mountain was so snowy it looked as though I were about to drive into a sheet of paper. Realizing that it didn’t have a cup holder, I secured my thermos in the back with my notebook, this is the point where it became extremely evident that I needed gloves.

I had never been in a situation where my winter Russian hat has ever been used for anything but making me laugh and looking cool. I had to snap the damn thing under my chin and I was not laughing. Amused, maybe.

If the path hadn’t been marked out with bamboo sticks on either side, I really don’t think  I would have found my way to the office. In the 4 minute drive it took me to get there, my coffee had spilled all over my notebook and icicled! ICICLED!

That was followed by almost 20 minutes of unthawing and shock. My hands were shaking and I stood in purgatory 1 meter away from the heater, afraid to get any closer because my fingers were in sheer pain.

I’m thinking the novelty of this is going to wear out real quick.

Playing in the snow at work

I’m thrilled! So far this trip reminds me of a family Christmas on the mountain except instead of giving gifts to each other we get paid.

In the 2 days I spent at in a small camp and, the camp already felt like a family. There’s something to be said for a kitchen so small that everyone is having the same conversation at dinner and Carla yells from the stove when your eggs are ready.

It was a winter wonderland utopia in the Wildfire camp. We went snowmobiling in absolutely ideal conditions, continued into a gigantic snowball fight and I made a mini snowman.

Today I left camp as scheduled, but I came to Stewart (a town) unexpectedly. I get to go on the tour around the camps tomorrow with two engineers from our office. We just had a lovely dinner, tonight I am in a hotel and I am thinking this camp tour can only go deteriorate from here.

Adjacent to Alaska

This is my third season working in a mining exploration camp. It is the part of my life people fail to remember when they see my rather undirected and charmed life outside of steel toe boots.

For the record, the boots are quite unnecessary, but who am I to argue with Dad?

I am optimistic about things so far, but I am also melodramatic and a junkie for novelty.

I arrived to Terrace not knowing who was picking me up or who I was joining me on the 4.5 hour drive up the mountain. I was among the least disappointed when we had to fit 10 burly men and 1 girl into an 11 seat van. Strangely, space is a luxury I have never cared for while travelling and it was a great group of guys in the car.

We laughed our way along the snowy roads and I felt like I was on my way to a snowmobiling trip with my Dad. Eventually the snow on the side of the roads was tall enough that we definitely wouldn’t have been going snowmobiling and then it switched gears to “who knows where we are and how long would it take someone to start looking for us?”

Then…a Russian truck driver jackknifed his truck on the road. We waited 4 hours on standby as the tow truck got to work. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait in what was becoming a very lived in van, we went to our drivers nearby cabin. I took my steel toe boots off and we ate pizza and pop like a bunch of bored kids at a birthday party.

We also watched 4 episodes of Pawn Stars which is awesome.

Then late in the dark we headed back down the snowy road for the final leg of our trip. John and Cole, two very good friends of mine came to pick us up on quads in a beautiful snowy blizzard. I say beautiful because I am still on the novelty bandwagon.

Tomorrow I am excited to see some more friends; this trip has been very champagne so far. Hopefully the internet kicks in so I can post this before I change my mind.

Off the mountain unscathed

I had a surprisingly lovely day at Mount Baldy. Not having to look cool in front of the small children and novice adults I snowboarded with was a ton of fun. It’s amazing how much you can practice your technique when you’re not 16 and trying to race your friends down the hill.

I realized something else too – snowboarding is a young mans game. Yes, my 5 year old brother might be able to beat me down a ski hill but I have a hell of a lot further to fall when I topple.

At least I discovered a run that my 7 year old sister wasn’t able to beat me down. Somehow we got lost and ended up on a treaturous black diamond run. Thankfully she had been begging me to take her exploring all day. This made her much more tolerant when she had to take off her skis and climb down what was essentially a cliff.

And finally, the best moment of our day happened at the top of a chair lift. Morgan, my Mom and I crashed to the ground dismounting the chair lift, then Mitch, Darla and Kade did the same. Six of us were laying on the ground and rather unimpressed, my 5 year old brother skied past saying “C’mon guys, let’s go,”, too young to realize the humour in the situation.

Dusting off her snowboard

Mokra Gora, Serbia - December 2011

It almost needed hosing down – five years creates a lot of dust.

I am pretty apprehensive right now. Mercilessly throwing myself down a snowy hill has never really been my idea of a sport. I say merciless because, for those of you who know me – I can barely walk without falling or withstand a wind chill without complaining.

Spending time in the snow with a board strapped to my feet…let’s tally that one up as peer pressure.

I found a beautiful winter coat I bought in Greece 6 years ago so I have decided to wine and dine it with a weekend at Mount Baldy with my family.

My lack of snowboarding ability is always paired nicely with wine. Let’s hope for everyone else’s sake I don’t get injured.

Fortress of Solitude

Belgrade Fortress

I feel a bit displaced, and bored. Lots of my friends are getting married and having kids or halfway there. I’ve got a brilliant cooking knife set and espresso maker that I can’t even commit to giving a home to.

I am crashing at my Mom’s house before going back for my third season at the mining exploration camp and even my little siblings are giving me shit for not having kids yet. As transparent as their will for a playmate is, I agree that I would like to start towards that path. For starters, not living in a tent with 3 other people.

I am going to be so melancholy in camp this season. At least a good strife pulls at ones literary strings – think Vonnegut and Kafka.