Long and Winding Road travel blog

False advertising?


Every day I look forward to writing my journal entries and think of entertaining things to write during most of the day, but then my energy runs out and my creativity goes with it. Anyway, here is somewhat of a recap of things I've been too tired to write.

This has been my third consecutive REALLY LONG day. On Tuesday I left home at 3:30 am Eastern time, traveled from home to Fairbanks, then worked 5 hours. That is at least as hard to do as to believe. The hardest part yet was that the 5 hours of work time included learning how to do some fairly complicated new things. Are you kidding me???

On Wednesday (really just yesterday?) I started work at the reasonable hour of 6 am. Morning, as always, was busy with deadlines and meetings. At lunch my co-worker (whom I am here to replace) and I realized that if we wanted to get an air monitor installed at Denali National Park the best time to do it was right away. There are simply too many other demands for one person to be able to handle while making time to be out installing a monitor. We knew it was unlikely that someone could make it to Denali, set up the monitor, stay long enough to be sure it was reporting data, and get back to Fairbanks before the 10pm cutoff after which USFS employees are to be off the road. I had packed camping gear "just in case" and it was still in my car so I made the offer to go install the monitor. [Not entirely selfless was my offer, since I had never been to Denali. I may not be able to claim that I have really SEEN Denali, but at least now I have been there.] Hence the picture you saw of my "campsite" for last night - while my nice hotel room went unused. By the way, those big monitoring cases take up just as much room in the car even if they are empty. It started out a fun quest but due to some complications I didn't finish until about 10 and was hot, dusty, tired and mosquito-bitten. Not too hard to sleep in my teensy cocoon.

This morning my phone rang at 4am. I usually remember to turn off the ringer before going to sleep but oh, well. 8 am reminder of a dental appointment next week, with an opportunity to come in today instead. I'm glad they called because I had forgotten to cancel. I really needed to be up at 4:30 anyway to check on the monitor before getting on the road at 5 am - which is the earliest I am allowed to drive for USFS. So I got a headstart. At 10 tonight I finally replied to an email that has been waiting on me since Tuesday night. It really does stay that busy. But certainly tomorrow will be better...

The good news is I have finally checked in to my HOTEL which it turns out is not on base after all, the food is fabulous, everyone is friendly, and Alaska is beautiful even when shrouded in smoke.

My coworker left today which in some ways will make my job more challenging because now all the work falls on my desk ... but in other ways will simplify because he will no longer be here trying to teach me so many really neat new things I could do with all our data if I only had the time. I am due to get a trainee at some point but am looking forward to a day or so of just being in my own head.

G'nite, everyone!

PS: Most difficult challenge yet...driving from Denali to Fairbanks with no coffee. Nothing open at Denali at 5 am and not much to even be open or closed between Denali and Fairbanks.



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