Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Dreary Month in the Northwest

OK, so I haven’t made an entry here for some time. I blame it on laziness. Been watching TV and movies, reading some books, - all pure escapism. October is a nasty month up here. Had maybe two sunny days all month. It is either raining, drizzling, cloudy, or snowing. Yes, snowing. Our first real snowfall was on October 6, about two and a half inches, which was mostly gone the next day. Then it rained and rained and on the twentieth, we got a bit more fresh snow, which was gone within twenty-four hours. Yesterday morning the ground was whitening again, but by afternoon, it changed to rain and rained hard all night. The forecasts seem to be a bit out, lately. If the temperature had been a bit cooler all month, there would be at least three feet of snow on the ground by now!

One day not long ago, there were a total of six helicopters sitting on the ground here. Poor visibility kept them there. The mineral exploration camps (diamond drillers) have moved out of the mountains for the winter, so there are very few choppers coming and going these days.

The traffic on the highway has slowed down drastically. I made a round trip to Stewart last week (200 miles) and met only a handful of oncoming vehicles.

At least two new construction camps are being set up now, just north of here. One near Bob Quinn Lake (for the power line construction), and another near km. 38 on the Eskay creek road, near the Iskut canyon, which will soon be harnessed for electrical power production.

So big trucks are hauling in the trailer units that make up these camps. Other trucks have now begun hauling lead-zinc ore from a mine in the Yukon, down to Stewart for shipment to a smelter. But, there is no tourist traffic now and the road is empty for great stretches of time.

I will be staying on here at the lodge this winter as part of the regular maintenance staff. Yesterday, I had a lesson on operating the Skid-Steer that we use for pushing snow. It has a snow-blower attachment also. Quite a claustrophobic experience, sitting inside that powerful little diesel rig!

Last night, the nine people who are still working here got together and carved pumpkins. I am going to mount mine on one of the lampposts in front of the lodge.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I am glad to hear that you are feeling better, Woody, and that you have a safe place to stay in the winter. Your pumpkin is beautiful! I still have the turtle box...happy Halloween to you.