Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lightning Strike Above - Day 2.

   I went out this morning first thing and looked up the mountain behind to see how that lightning strike caused fire had fared overnight. There was some smoke way up there and it wasn't too much longer before I heard a helicopter coming. A larger crew and more specialized machine arrived this morning than had come out yesterday.

The response team had arrived early, they all piled into the helicopter and through the binoculars I watched as they all repelled down an 80 foot line into the trees up on the distant ridge.

The machine came back for a sling-load of fire-fighting gear and dropped it up there for the guys, and gals.

First chance I had I went down to check out the helicopter and bother the flight-crew, Jeff and Andrew while they had a little down-time. Wildcat Helicopters operates a fleet of these Bell 212 twin-engine machines all set-up for fire-fighting and search and rescue, and she was a pretty neat bird.
They can lower the flexible intake and dangle it in a water source and fill the belly tank in 30 seconds. They can dump or spray the load, and also drop a hose down to re-fill the portable water tanks the ground crew use up there. They picked up an initial load from the river to take up, then use some small lake up in the alpine the pilot yesterday located.
This winch comes in pretty handy I bet.

At the end of the day they began to bring equipment down off the mountain so I knew they had a handle on things up there.

No more smoke.
The ground crew walked down part way to a tight landing area where the helicopter picked them up.

A few of the guys stopped in on the way out to thank me for the use of the staging area. I didn't get their names, I'm so bad with names, but thanks guys, and girls too, that were up there in the heat and smoke and dirt and grime to get it put out.

I didn't tell them I spent the whole day relaxing on the bench by a cool creek enjoying the air-show.

There has been several times over the years the area has been used for a fire staging area.
Heres a major one from 2005.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lightning Strike Above.

    There was a pretty serious thunder and lightning storm roll through here yesterday. Socked the valley in and we were treated to about 45 minutes worth of nature's fury. 
Several sounded really close, and I wondered about the possibility of a local strike.
Turns out my hunch was right. A forestry fire-fighting crew arrived in the yard this morning, informing me of a fire going up on the high ridge above me here at about the 1200m level that had turned up on the strike radar, and I gave them the ok to use the area out front in their efforts to put it out.

Pretty soon a helicopter arrived on scene.

 I went down and chatted briefly with the pilot, Kevin was hooking up his long-line to sling a couple portable water tanks up near the fire for the ground crew that was hiking their way up to the strike site.
 He came back for his monsoon-bucket and hopped over to the river for a load.

 He dropped the load then disappeared behind the ridge where he had found some small water-hole up there in the alpine to bucket from, saving himself coming all the way back down to the river-level. 
He came back and landed when he was done to stow away his long-line, monsoon-bucket and stuff. He told me the fire was history, and went on his way back to base.
While I was sitting here writing this post this evening, someone drove in the yard to let me know they had been driving in from up-valley and had seen smoke up on the high ridge above, so it looks like the fire has flared-up once more, and there will probably be some more helicopter activity around here tomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Vintage Bike Show, Adventure Ride.

    Something I had been looking forward to was the annual vintage motorcycle show a few days back down in Chilliwack. I had been afflicted with the vintage bug in a big way decades ago, but have since sold them all off in small lots here and there and moved onto other things. I was still interested in going down and having a look this year though. The shortest, and roughest route from here being the rugged West Harrison, or the Sts'ailes Forest Service Road which heads south and winds down along Harrison Lake and coming out in the Fraser Valley.
Josh and I got an early start, before the sun came up. It was going to be a long days riding.

We stopped at the log-sort yard at the head of Harrison Lake, the lake was like glass.

3 hours later we pulled into an eatery for breakfast, or brunch as it turned out.

Arriving at Chilliwack there was a pretty good turn-out for the vintage show.

Old bikes enough to fill two large buildings.
I ran across several that used to belong to me, like this 1968 Honda CL-450 I let go a number of years back.
The Bat Cycle from the 1960's TV program was there.

On the way back we stopped at the 20 Mile Bay Recreation Site partway up Harrison Lk.

It was hot and nice, and a bit tropical.

We stopped at the log-sort yard again for a break on the way back just as the sun was going down.

Arriving back here at the Lodge at dark 372 km. later, and slightly more wore-out than we were when we rode out that morning.