Saturday, December 27, 2008


Visiting friends and family, I'm reminded again and again how odd our lifestyle is. We talk to people who are grateful they don't have to work until after New Years- I don't have to work until mid-February. They go to the office at 8, return home after 4:30. I too go to the office at 8, but may not return home for 18 days or more. During those work days away, it isn't unusual for me to help set hundreds of acres of forest or grassland on fire, cut down hundreds of trees, and cook most of my meals over an open fire. My office is the public lands of around half of the country; that is very cool. I can see a time coming when the road time and sheer grinding physicality of it gets old, but for now it is fun.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Si, se puede!


It is snowing in Seattle, and everyone is freaking out. It doesn’t snow often enough for people to deal well with it here. I’m finally recovered from a cold, and antsy to get out, even if it means a slippery run through the snow hiding the ice (left over from the previous snow). If the weather bums me out, I look at the forecast for Custer, SD, and at least we aren’t back there yet.
So, much time has passed since an update. To summarize: we moved to Custer, I started work with the Black Hills Fire Use Module, burned some in ND and SD, rented a house, got furloughed till february, hung out a bit, then hit the road. We’re doing a big triangle, visiting friends and family in CO, AZ, CA, and now WA. Soon, back to Custer, then to Houghton for me to finally defend my MS coffee research.
It has been fun to be on the road for pleasure rather than work. We camped on the Pacific, rode the tandem through Saguaro national park, drank beer at the Pike Brewery, had great espresso and baked goods in at least 5 states, and made it to Seattle before this unusually nasty weather set in.
I'll add some pics shortly.