It has been so long since I’ve felt the mystical waves of wireless internet.  The pulsating frequencies are calming.

After spending some lovely days in the rain scanning and cropping and preparing original images to repeat for the field (I didn’t take too many pictures of that, it’s boring,) we took a few days break from the fire base.

I was sent to Calgary for the day to scan some images from 1917 while Stuart and Allie went to go climbing.  As retribution for trying to have fun while I worked, it rained and thundered on their fun.

Then we went to a field and played harmonica.

When we got back to the base we were fortunate to have helicopter support again, so we were able to complete 24 stations in two days (that’s a lot.)

Stuart worked like a mad choirmaster directing us and getting us to stations right on cue.

This record number of stations meant we were up at 7:30 making maps for the day, and printing images until 11 at night a few days in a row.

The survey we are working on right now is in the foothills west of Sundre, Alberta, and there are a lot of trees here.

Most of the stations which were clear in 1917 because of a recent burn and some crafty axwork by Bridgland and his helpers are now hidden in the trees.

Most of the stations are hills like this one.

Fortunately we have the magic of helicopters and have been able to hover above the stations with the door open to repeat the images.

It is quite the mental challenge to try to locate stations from original photos, navigate a helicopter, take pictures, and not throw up.  I was in charge of taking notes and keeping track of images but every few minutes I would think to myself: the door is open, neat.

The next day I got to be the one to hang out the door.  Taking off with the door open is very… exciting.

We also did some good old fashioned stations from the ground, and the helicopter hung out with us for a while.

And Stuart pretended he was a surveyor.

We ordered pizza.

But Allie wanted to eat healthy.

It was feeling like winter here for a while, but we finally had a bit of warmth.  August is not supposed to mean snow.

The helicopter got sent to Grande Cache, but we didn’t really want to go there.

We drove up to a station which happened to be a fire lookout.  The lookout was very helpful to avoid the trees.

We had a good amount of fun up there.

Stuart and I brought our bikes up there, but I only made it 700 metres down the road before I got a flat tire.  Stuart had a lot of fun though.

I’ve been decorating my cabin.

And today our sleepy base was descended upon by the Alberta SRD lawn mowing attack crew.

(Clearly there are no fires in this district right now.)

We’re excited because our lab crew is coming to join us over the next week!

Signing off.

From Sundre, Alberta,

Will

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