Long and Winding Road travel blog

A quilt where we made a pit stop






Mama moose

There's her baby

Well my day started out pretty roughly. I headed into the base and got pulled over for an inspection by the guards at the gate. It was just random and not all that rigorous, but I was supposed to meet my trainee at the door to the office (because we go in before the doors are unlocked and she doesn't have an entrance key) so I knew the inspection would make me late. It was also a little humiliating because the guards wanted ME to open all the doors, the back hatch, and the hood. Since this is just a rental I had no idea where the release was under the hood. I could remember having trouble opening Mom's hood for her new Crosstrek and the Ascent is no more intuitive. They watched me hunting for a while and finally I asked if they couldn't just do it. "No Ma'am, it is a liability issue"... but finally someone pointed a flashlight where I had kept trying to pull a release up or push it down, and said "Slide it to the side, Ma'am" and it worked. Duh. I got the hood open and they looked all under the hood with a flashlight, and in my glove box with a flashlight. That was fine, I had nothing to hide. What I found amusing is that they didn't have me open a single one of the 6 big cases I had inside the car. I could seriously have a couple of dismembered bodies inside those cases, they are so big and heavy. But no questions there! Ha! I was so amused at the irony it was hard to resist laughingly asking about it but I didn't think that would be wise, so on I went.

Once I got inside the office and turned on my computer the first thing I saw was that our monitor at Fort Yukon had quit running last night. Any laughter had still lingering after the inspection was no longer to be found. It was fun enough flying up to install a monitor but having to go back and service it almost immediately is not appealing, especially considering all the other work I have to do. We had so much trouble ever getting the monitor to transmit that I don't feel very optimistic about fixing it anyway. So ... someone is going to send us another transmitter. It will be delivered on Monday. Today we went to fix or retrieve our OTHER non-functional monitor from Denali NP. What gives with these monitors?! It is frustrating for me and appears to be even more frustrating for my trainee. She has had only one previous assignment which was in Wyoming last fall. She had 3 monitors go bad on that assignment and was out in the freezing cold trying to fix them by flashlight. So this time at least we have daylight and pleasant temperatures but I don't think she has had one be successful yet. I am starting to wonder whether she is a monitoring jinx but I didn't think it would be wise to say that, either.

The trip to Denali would have been fabulous except that we were unable to fix the monitor. We thought we had it fixed....or at least I thought we did... and then there has to be a waiting period of an hour or two before we can see that data is being transmitted. During the hour we went for a short hike and as we were driving back to the monitor we saw a mama moose with her calf. So that part of my day was great.

Back to the monitor and then we could tell it was not fixed. I called the person who fixes the monitors to see what else we might try while Lucy just started tearing the thing apart. I think she disassembled a few more pieces that were supposed to be disassembled. Might have to have a conversation about that...but not tonight. After all, I was trying to be wise today. We picked up food to go and just got back to town in time to beat the USFS 10pm driving curfew. Two long days with beautiful scenery but no progress to show for all our work. So .... just focus on the photographs. Glad no one took my Kodachrome away.

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