|Lucy and I declared a day off from monitors. We are scheduled to receive the new transmitter tomorrow and one of us will take it, plus 3 more big cases, back up to Fort Yukon on Tuesday. Between now and then we will assemble and test the back-up monitor. So there can't be much of a monitoring break but I was getting pretty concerned that I've had no time to work with Lucy in the office and there is a lot of material I thought we should cover. So today - NO MONITORS!!!
This morning we mostly had meetings and she filled in for me in one, by herself, which was nice. This afternoon we went to the National Weather Service (NOAA) office in Fairbanks for a lesson in what to do if you need help with weather forecasting. It was a beautiful facility and I knew the meteorologist from my first fire assignment so a fun as well as informative outing. I think all 3 of us felt it was quite beneficial. After the forecasting lesson we stopped for a quick peek at the Fairbanks botanical garden. It was right next door and could have taken us an entire afternoon, but we just hit the highlights long enough to stretch our legs.
Then back to the office but we decided we were leaving earlier tonight, no matter what, so I was back at the hotel by 7:30. Yippee - time to do laundry!!! I'll likely do a little more work after my clothes are done but it will be nice to do it in my hotel room wearing flip flops, rather than in the office wearing leather boots.
I have a couple of big decisions coming up and maybe I won't be the one to make any of them. First decision is whether Lucy goes back to Fort Yukon or I go. If our schedule wasn't so tight we would both go and that would be much more fun, but I feel it is very unfair to Lucy to have to spend so much what should be training time for her just helping me set up or tear down monitors. I am only supposed to have 2 more work days and ideally we would be in the office together for both of those but tomorrow some of our time will have to be with monitors again and then a major portion of the day on Tuesday will be taken up for whoever goes back to Fort Yukon. I will likely let her decide whether she feels it would be more beneficial for her to have to troubleshoot a monitor by herself or stay in the office and work without me being there to answer any questions. Neither is ideal but a big part of this job is being able to deal with less than ideal so I suppose the situation provides some training in and of itself.
The final decision is whether I will truly have Tuesday as my last day. I sent a "Tuesday will be my last day" reminder to our program coordinator before we flew on Friday, just in case we didn't get back until late Saturday. It takes him some time to coordinate with folks at the fire and get the next person hired so I wanted to give him plenty of lead time. I think I gave him too much lead time because apparently he forgot all about it, and he had a really busy day today. When I sent him another reminder his response was "ugh... crept up on me." That was a shocker for me because he is always on top of things and very professional. Never thought I'd get an "ugh" message from him. Ha!
Another thing I had asked is whether he would object to my staying in AK at the end of the assignment, and providing my own way home. He didn't even answer that question, I think because he was too preoccupied with needing to find a replacement for me. I will talk to my dispatch office about it tomorrow. I am hoping to head to Denali, Talkeetna, and Homer before getting on the ferry to Juneau. I would fly home from there. So keep your fingers crossed for me and I'll probably have an answer by tomorrow night.
Better go grab my laundry! Goodnight.