Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Alaska Expedition of 2010

Earlier this year (between mid June and late September), I spent a decent amount of time working in Alaska. The majority of the work was for a pipeline that's proposed to go in way down the road, but a small amount at the beginning was spent outside of Fairbanks, working at a mining camp. Unlike most of the survey / excavation that I've done in the lower 48, a lot of the work involved hiking several miles a day (along the sides of steeply sloped mountains on more than one occasion), regardless of the weather. Since there's only so many warm months in the great white North, they utilize every day no matter how cold / rainy / miserable it might be. All in all it was a great experience, and despite three straight months of solitude deep in the arctic circle, I had a lot of fun. In my mind, there's few things that I've seen recently quite as incredible as the Northern lights, or weeks and weeks of continuous sunshine. On top of that, seeing my fair share of wolves, and a grizzly bear fight, I wouldn't hesitate to head back up if the opportunity arose.

Oh, and the pay was friggin awesome.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Santa Fe

After about 14 hours in the car, I've landed in Santa Fe NM on my way back to Denver, from Tehachapi CA. I spent about two weeks just south of the Sierra Nevada range, surveying for a windfarm project in the area. There was absolutely no digging, which was enough to keep me a happy camper throughout the entire length of the project and on top of that, we found a lot of cultural material. I've worked in the south west before, but for an abbreviated amount of time; after the second round of work in the region, I've understood why it's reasonably harder to get into companies down here, and why everyone wants to work in this region. The amount of diverse material, culture and drastic climate changes are something seldom seen anywhere else on our continent.

I've been in this field more or less since I graduated from college (literally, two days after I received my diploma, I was off to Ireland), and I've managed to travel through 41 out of the 50 states, working in 14. In all honesty, I'm reaching the point where my body is starting to say "no more,'' and I need to think about other career options, or a branch of this that would be a little more stable, with some sweet sweet benefits.