Monday, September 25, 2017

Last Day of Summer

On Thursday September 21st I had plans to head back to Nordegg.  I was going to meet up with my friends Rob and Brad who had been staying out at my property through the week.  We were going to spend a couple of days doing the electrical rough in at my cottage, and also try to get out for a little hiking and photography.  The three of us had been out on trips before... once to Kananaskis and twice to southern Utah... and this was to be a continuation of that experience.  I had gone out a limb, and attempted to book a couple of days off work.  These would be my only two vacation days of the summer, and my first days off since early spring.  I knew that the weather forecast was not good, but when I arrived out at Nordegg around lunch time on Thursday, it was much worse than I had expected.  When I pulled into the driveway Brad and Rob were in the process of digging their vehicles out of 14 inches of heavy wet snow.  My framing contractors had been delayed with the recent poor weather and the day before had been in the process of setting the roof trusses.  The guys were not able, up to that point, to accomplish much in the way of electrical installation.  On this day they were bailing out as it was obvious that nothing could happen for the next few days.
I hooked my tow strap up to Brad's little car and used my truck to drag him down to the road.  There were no tracks on the road, except the ones that I had made driving in.  Rob managed to drive out in the tracks that I had made.  The two of them packed up their stuff, said their goodbyes, and hit the road for home... Brad back to Edmonton and Rob to his place in Vernon...
That left me out there alone, wondering what to do next...  I had the day off work, and the next day too, but it was obvious I would not be able to do anything but sit in the trailer and wait out the weather.  I'm far to active and impatient to sit around for that long doing nothing.  So I set about dealing with the situation.  I scraped most of the snow off of the girls trampoline so that it would not collapse.  I pulled all of the heavy wet snow off of the slide out on my trailer so that I could close it.  I packed up most of my tools and supplies so that they were secure.  There was no way that I could drive my ATV back up to the storage site in the Industrial Park.  I might have been able to go down the middle of the highway, but Hailey had already been stopped by the Fish and Wildlife officer for doing that the weekend prior.  So I left the ATV, buried under a pile of snow, at the edge of our driveway.  I switched the propane tank on the trailer to a full one, and set the furnace for 50F.  I turned on the hot water heater so the plumbing would not freeze.  And I locked our gate and buttoned everything down and headed back to the city.  I returned to work the next day and cancelled my second day off... thinking that it was better to accomplish something in the office.
On the way out I saw a herd of wild horses beside the highway, near the Beaverdam Recreation Area.  They were in the ditch, digging into the snow trying to find something to eat.  By late afternoon when I headed back to the city, they were still there, digging away.  I hoped that none of them would meet with the same fate as some of their relatives.  Back on the the August long weekend a couple of black ones had been struck and killed by a vehicle when they ventured out onto the highway after dark....

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