Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wallow Fire Part - 2

So I realized I was maybe a little too detailed with my last entry.  So I promise this next one will be more brief.  Everyday on the fire was never the same, we were doing different things all the time.  A few days we did structure protection, another few days we monitored a road and made sure the fire didn't go over the road and onto the other side, and the last few days we were there we worked with the Hot Shots (yes I am not making this up there are crews that are called hot shots, they don't work on engines, but only work with chainsaws and hand tools to put out fire - yeah something I could probably never do!)

It seemed like the 2 and a half weeks I spent in Arizona seemed really long while I was there, but looking back they just seemed to fly by.  I swear the entire month of June was basically consumed by the Wallow fire.  The last few days I was there, I was trying to make arrangements to fly to my sister's wedding in Colorado, because I was going to miss it by only a day if I stayed with my engine.  So Thursday night one of the guys from my crew drove me from our spike camp to the base camp which was an hour away so that I could be checked out and could catch my flight the next morning to Grand Junction.  Ground Support was supposed to give me a ride to the airport early the next morning, but those plans didn't work so Travis ended up driving me all the way to Show Low, Arizona so that I could catch my flight the next morning.  So here's where it gets crazy.  My mom had been talking to my grandma about my situation of trying to make it to Tia's wedding and my grandma happened to mention to my mom that I had relatives in Show Low if I needed somewhere to stay the night before my flight left.  So guess where I was headed... to this relative's house I had never met before and who my mom only ever remembers meeting once over twenty years ago.  Ha kinda random.

So we got to Show Low around dinner time and so Travis and I decided to get a $5 pizza at Little Caesars before he dropped me off at the airport.  For the past week and a half the guys had been complaining how bad they wanted pizza and how good it always sounded after a long hard day of work.  Travis and I didn't want them to feel left out, so we sent them this picture...

I was just glad I didn't have to put up with all the complaining and moaning that I was sure was bound to happen because Travis and I had gotten pizza while the rest of the crew didnt.  Although we did ahve 3 pieces left over that Travis took back to give the guys, but the little ungrateful whiners didn't even end up eating it from what I understand.  Ha oh well.

So I had to just sit at the airport and wait for this lady who I had never met to come pick me up after she got done working at the temple.  I have to admit I was a little relieved and kinda excited to talk with someone who was LDS and felt a little safer knowing she was LDS and I wasn't staying in some crazy person's home.  She ended up being super nice and let me sleep in a bed... yes a BED! I mean one with a mattress and blankets and everything.  I don't think I've ever been so excited to sleep on a bed in my life before, I guess that's what happens after you spend 2 weeks sleeping on the hard ground in the rocks.  She even let me take a shower in her nice white tiled bathroom.  I felt like a homeless person going into her house with my dirty boots (don't worry I left them outside ha) and my very dirty body that had not been washed in week.  Yes as disgusting as that is in the 15 days I was there I only got 1 shower... yes ONLY ONE!!! I was rather dirty, so much that I can admit I don't think I ever want to be a brunette again...  here are a few pictures of my very dirty self....

The guys on my crew dared me to not shower and wear the same clothes that I had on when I left to ride home on the plane.  They told me they would each pay me like $50 if I did this... it was rather tempting, but don't worry I value my personal hygiene more than a hundred dollars, so yes I did end up showering. I'm not sure I would have lasted many more days without a shower.  Baby wipes only go so far out on the fire line.

So I made it to my flight the next morning after my relative (who I believe to be my grandpa's cousin's wife- yep pretty distant) made me a wonderful breakfast.  This was my first time riding on one of those little puddle jumper planes and I have to admit you feel more like you're flying the smaller the airplane is, which I thought was kinda cool.  I made it to Denver where I had a few hours to kill before my next flight to Grand Junction.  I ended up calling a few friends to catch up because I had little to no communication with them for the last 2 weeks.  I looked like such a weirdo in my fire pants and fire boots and T-shirt just chillin at the airport.  I got quite a few weird glances - that's for sure! My parents and sister picked me up in Grand Junction and I helped get the last few things ready for the wedding which was supposed to happen in under 12 hours.

The wedding was up in the mountains and was beautiful! I was happy to see my sister too because it had been almost a year since I had seen her and her husband and my niece and nephew.  I was so glad I got to go to my sister's wedding and spend time with her and the rest of my family.

To think that I went from looking like this.... 

To this...

In just a few short hours was rather a miraculous transformation lol :D 

All in all, I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I had to go to Arizona, it gave the opportunity to gain a better relationship with the guys on my crew and built a great crew cohesion that we relied on for the rest of the summer during our rather busy fire season.  

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