Hey there, so my blogs have been a little lacking in the content department over the second half of the summer. So I am forcing myself to sit down and try to write about the past two months or so. But out of curiousity - now that the blogs arn't on the front page, do people even still read this shit, or are they too lazy to look?
Lets see here, I guess I left off in Port Alberni. This was my 5th year treeplanting, but until this year I havn't done coastal planting. Part of the reason for that was time constraints. You see coastal planting takes place from feb-april and starts back up in aug-oct. As a skier like the rest of you, I'm not about to go and start planting trees in the middle of February, and over the past few years I've had better things to do with my life then plant in the fall. Other then that, I'm usually burnt out by the end of July, and don't feel like working anymore - that and I hate rain. It's basicly my kriptonite. But this year was different. With Karyn (the ex) out of the picture and nothing to do with myself, I thought "fuck it - lets do this thing!"
My first coastal contract was in Port Alberni with Brinkman and it was an interesting time. You see the steel workers are on strike, and with them the loggers were pickiting - so we the planters became scabs. I have never been a scab before, and I gotta say - it was mildly entertaining. Sure, some days we almost didn't get to work (sometimes not starting work till 11am), and others we were playing a big cat and mouse game, but in the end, we didn't miss one day of work because of the pickiters - and some of our really bad blocks were taken out of the program because of it, which worked out in our favour. As for the actual work itself, some of the shit out here on the coast of B.C. is fucking gnarly dude. I'm talking 60 - 70 degree slopes with mad exposure underneith. Some of the spots I'd find myself trying to plant trees were even more crazy then shit i'd do on my skis (i'm talking a piece with 100m+ vert that's just a huge pillow line the whole way down). But with tree prices sitting around 30 cents or higher, it's pretty sweet, and very exilarating at times. The best part of working out of Port Alberni was it's proximaty to Tofino. I spent every day off resting my hangover out on the beach under the sun, and one time we got two days off, so we drove out to Tofino in my friends van, hung out in town till dark and ended up at this awsome beach party down at the end of Cox. they brought a d.j. booth with lights and big speakers, dance floor, huge bonfire, booze, drugs, a 65/35 girl/guy ratio, and it kept going till like 5am. fuckin' eh!
When that contract wrapped up I headed up to Campbell River to do another contract with a company called Osprey. We were living at these cabins at the entrence to Toba Inlet (on the mainland north of the Rodonda's). I have never been to this area of B.C. before so it was pretty sweet getting to see all the north gulf islands and the glaciated coast mountains shooting up out of the inlet. The land here was pretty slashy, with a lot of logged old growth. I saw the largest tree stumps ever on some of the blocks in Toba (I'm talking 7ft wide and shit). Unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperating and we had a lot of down days due to rough water, fog (it was all heli work - and heli's don't do so well in the fog), or sometimes the barge with our trees would show up a day or two late. But alas as the snowline came further down the mountain, the trees went in the ground, and eventually we were out of Toba and on to Bute.
Bute Inlet should mean something to most of you. As I said earlier I have never been to this neck of the woods, but one thing I did know about Bute is that Seth and McConkey (and who else?) came out here a few years ago with MSP in a boat and got some pretty sweet footage from the area. Now, that alone would make any skier want to see what Bute was all about. And dude - Bute Inlet is amazingly beautiful. We're talking 2700m peaks straight out of the ocean, glaciers everywhere, and if you go check out Orford Bay you will see one of the highest concentration of grizzly bears on earth. Bute is big in every way. Unfortunatly for us: the weather was big too. With only one day of planting left we got shut down three days in a row due to fog, wind, and a tropical storm. now, that being said, after three days of downtime to wait for one day of work when it's getting close to halloween, i quit. Yesterday I didn't bother getting on the boat with the rest of the crew and instead headed down to nanaimo. Now, as to if they managed to get into the block yesterday or not is still unknown to me, but while traveling down to nanaimo the snowline was very low on the vancouver island mountains, so even if it wasn't foggy, there was probably snow covering the whole damn block. But that's not my problem now is it?
So here I am - back in Ontarible for the rest of October. I flew in to Toronto today from Nanaimo, and will be spending the next two weeks hanging around the GTA and C'wood area seeing friends and family, and partying hard for my birthday (which is on halloween). After halloween it is back to Rossland to start the waiting game for winter to arrive - but if the weather stays around the same as it has been the past week or two, there might be enough snow up on the mountains for me to ski as soon as i get there. here's hoping!!!
Winter is just around the corner, I can smell it. Can't you?