Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unemployed and too much to do.

Here I am holed up in Montana again for the winter. Had a fantastic time in Yellowstone last summer doing backcountry work in the south district.

Currently working on my private pilots license and studying for my EMT re-certification. Lots of good stories from the summer, but i don't feel like typing them all out right now. I'm returning to the same position for this coming summer and it will probably be my last. Amber will be finishing school in May, and in September we should be able to settle down somewhere and lead a semi normal life.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Next Adventure

The uhaul is reserved for Tuesday, the apartment is full of boxes. Back to Montana it is.

I accepted a backcountry ranger position at Yellowstone National Park. My past 2 seasons at Mt Rainier have been excellent, and I'm going to miss the place. Most of all though, I'll miss my fellow NPS employees there. Some great people there, and I had an excellent time being around some amazing individuals. It was a tough decisions to leave, but a backcountry position at Yellowstone is the initial reason I got into the Park Ranger gig as it is. I just couldn't say no.

So, here's to the stress of packing and cleaning, and aching backs from moving boxes.

Adios Oregon.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Going on.

Yup, still in the Park. Mount Rainier that is. Filling in every now and then here in the Dispatch center. I've found that I enjoy working out in the field as Law Enforcement much more than working in Dispatch. There's a possibility of some staff shortages on the East side, so maybe I can start early over there for my summer seasonal.

Amber is kicking butt at school. Our situation isn't perfect, but we're making it work. It's hard spending so much time away, and really it's more my choice in career that has done that. We have a very strong and understanding relationship, so we can deal with these situations very well, and have done so in the past. It's the future I'm worried about. In about 2.5 years Amber will graduate, and then she'll be shipped off to the Army. Then the Army will ship her off to who-knows-where once she's done with training. That's fine and dandy with me. It can probably work out pretty well if I'm still a seasonal. I'd be able to move around more easily. But, I'm very into trying to get a permanent position with the NPS, and after that it may be more difficult to move around and get near to where she'll be. On the other hand, she is only in for 3 years, then after that she would be able to move wherever she cared to, and able to do the Optometry thing.

Life just ain't easy sometimes I guess. And we're making the most of what we have. And surprising to some, it's quite a bit for how much time we have to spend apart. Definitely love.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Life at Sunrise

Things are slowing down. The last busy weekend of the summer is upon us already. In about 2 weeks time I'll be packing up my goodies and moving down the hill, closer to highway 410.

I have very few negative things to say about this summer thus far. I have a supervisor who treats me very well, and I couldn't ask for better coworkers(law enforcement, and the folks I work with at Sunrise and pretty much Park-wide). I'll be looking at coming back to Mount Rainier next summer for sure.

Anyone in the Sunrise area, be sure and drop by to give Ranger Patrick a hello.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What am I doing?

Whoa! Been doing the law enforcement thing at Mt Rainier for about 3 weeks now. It's been a ride so far. My first week was fairly uneventful, but for one old fella who took a tumble and fell down an embankment. He had neck pain, so we sent him out by ambulance. Then the weekend started, and it stayed pretty quiet, which is somewhat surprising for a weekend. Then on Sunday at about 4:00 PM, I heard my supervisor report over the radio that there was a truck with camper attached which had gone through the guard rail, and over the edge, ending up about 30 feet below the road.

I responded from my perch high upon the hill, and I showed up in time to help put one girl on a backboard. Once patients were whisked away, someone noticed a sheen of oil already on a nearby lake, from the wrecked truck. I took my pickup down about 6-7 miles to a ranger station, and picked up some supplies to hopefully help with the cleanup. On the way back, I helped a nice lady and her son get their car unstuck and turned around, and then made it back up the hill to the accident site. Not much for me to do, so I was assisting traffic control, when one of the visitors rolled up and said, "Hey, did you know a truck's on fire back there?". I asked him where, and sure enough, a column of smoke was rising down the hill from us. So, some of us roared down the road and watched as a truck got engulfed with flames. Pretty amazing seeing the tires explode. The poor fella who was driving it, was also towing a small cargo trailer with $100,000 worth of guns in the back. A Forest Service LEO went in, while one of our rangers kept a small spray of water on him from our small wildland fire engine, and unhooked, then towed the trailer away from the burning truck. A local structure fire crew eventually showed up with their structure engine, and put the fire dead out. I helped with cleanup of both that, and the previous wreck, and was out until 1:00 AM. Showed up at 8:00 AM the same morning to finish cleaning up the first wreck. That was grunt work, and we finished up around noon. Afterwards I drove to a nearby town and gassed up my truck. On the drive back I noticed a fellow standing outside of the his pickup, talking on his cell phone, blocking the entrance of a driveway into a campground. It looked odd, so I flipped around, and stopped to check it out. Sure enough, he'd smacked into a rock wall, and I was first on scene. I couldn't get out on cell or radio(he'd been trying to make a call, but wasn't connecting either), so I flagged down a motorist and luckily enough it turned out to be one of the local firefighters. He took over EMS and had his wife drive up the road to call 911. Soon enough the Ambulance showed up, the fella was packaged up, and sent off. I was free to go, so I headed back into the park.

At the White River Ranger Station, I ran into another ranger who asked if I wanted to go up on the highway in the park, and run some traffic stops. I declined, I was hungry, and was going to head up the hill to my apartment to grab a bite to eat. I made my way home, and was boiling up some brautwurst when I heard my supervisor radio to that other ranger to stand ready at the highway, a speeding motorcycle was heading his way, and he wanted an intercept of some sort. When the motorcycle went by, it was doing 116 mph according to the radar. I heard this on the radio, and almost headed out the door, but I was at best 20 mins away, so I continued eating my food. Then I heard that the bike had stopped at the boundary of the park, and that the fella had a felony warrant. They were also running information on 3 other individuals. I decided it was a good idea to head down the hill and assist. They called for me when I was halfway down the hill. By the time I got there, 2 of the individuals had been let go, the girl that was on the back of the bike didn't have a motorcycle endorcement, so she couldn't ride it. It was going to be impounded. She was taken to a nearby forest service visitor center, and made arrangements to be picked up by family there. Her boyfriend was in cuffs and in the back of one of the rigs. They asked if I would go along for the suspect transport, and I was fine with that, something new. When transporting we're supposed to have 2 rangers or LEO's in the vehicle. We went a good distance to transport the fella, and I was in bed at about 12:30 that night. I worked the next day, and all was quiet.

Just this past Sunday, I responded to a bicyclist vs. Deer(amazing, I'd never heard of such a thing). And when we were just wrapping that up, a call came in about a motorcycle accident at one of the hairpins on the road up to where I live. We roared up there, and sure enough, poor guy had some road rash, jammed thumb, and a very sore back, also was short of breath. He got packaged up, we drove him down to a nearby airfield, and met with a Lifeflight chopper there(Airlift Northwest). Then it was home, and a fairly uneventful day after that.

Pretty crazy, It will some time before I pass judgement on whether I like this job or not. It can be pretty exciting.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One of those beyonds.

To infinity and beyond.

Sorry buzz, I screwed it up.

Monday, April 17, 2006

To the future, and beyond.

Thanks Buzz.

I'm sitting along at night, playing this magical keyboard. The music that pours from it's soulful taps streams across the room as little 1's and 0's.

Work is soon to come, and the timer has already started ticking. 10 days of work 14 days total. After today it will only be 8 more trucks that need to be unloaded by my hands. They've already buttered me up, trying to get me to come back and work for them this fall.

I nod my head, agree that it's a good deal, then procede with the work that is at hand. Never say never, but hopefully I won't be back in the red and khaki come fall time. As I've said before though, I'll miss the folks there. I'm just ready to become a human being again.

Law Enforcement is looming on my horizon, and I'm nervous and excited about it. How many drunks am I going to wrestle this summer, will I ever draw my gun. Never know, but I can most assuredly expect some blood and guts stuff. I'll be getting medical calls while I'm there, and I'll have to put my First Responder skills to use. This, out of everything, has me the most nervous. Will I have to make the life saving decisions? Am I prepared for that. This summer will tell.

In two weeks it's off to the folks in Montana for a week or so. Hopefully I can give them a hand on the corral that's been going up for over a year now. Maybe I'll be enough encentive to get it done.