A Day of Misadventures

It seemed like a decent day to begin with, but then again they always do. We coordinated with the helicopter guys to sling out the argo, our Birch Mountain project is done until the next phase of the project and we needed the argo for a smaller 2-day job just south of Ft. Mac. We had agreed to meet at the start of the winter road to Ft. Chipewyan to save on flight times with the helicopter. The drive out was remarkably pleasant and went by quickly; we were early so we enjoyed the sun and watched the giant dragonflies zip around overhead – did you know they will rip the heads off their prey in mid-flight, awesome! The argo eventually arrived, we loaded it up quickly and were on our way back to the city in no time.

Driving back one of the other new girls wanted some practice driving the truck and trailer, which went very well until we were on the outskirts of the city. A number of factors combined and resulted in us being rear-ended: a semi truck did not yield and was turning into our lane, we changed lanes but just as the traffic light was yellow, the slamming on of brakes was too sudden of a stop for the driver behind us. Thankfully the trailer is low and the damage was fairly minimal. The gentleman in the truck was nice about the whole situation, quite calm throughout it which was good seeing as how our driver was a tad shaken up over her first accident. But because they were both work trucks, and ours a rental as well, we needed to wait for the police to arrive, make statements, file a report, etc. I’m so glad it wasn’t a rainy day.

Back on the road again though, we needed to stop off at the hotel, pick up some maps and leave the second truck behind before heading off to our new job. It sounds so simple but as our second truck pulled into the parking lot it inexplicably died on us. The electrical had been acting up a bit lately, we should have known something else was coming. So, we pulled out our lunches and had a nice break while we waited for the tow truck to arrive and give us a prognosis – alas, they are never as fast in arriving as they say they will be. But in the end he quickly worked his magic and it is up and running again.

Excitedly we hit the road once again. It was a very pleasant drive until we arrived at a very severe looking security gate barring our passage. It would seem that the area we need to survey for a new water pipeline is on a lease belonging to one of the major oil companies. Most unfortunate for us, this company has very strict access restrictions: we need clearance and passes, we need to go through their safety orientation and we need to do drug and alcohol testing. However, the company that sub-contracted to us didn’t tell us we’d be on this lease, so none of that is in place. They were kind enough to let us onto the lease to turn around and promptly leave, at which point we decided to say screw it, it’s time to go home.

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One response to “A Day of Misadventures

  1. Ah…the red tape of it all…I do believe those big oil companies; especially the two new ones just purchased by China will be more and more difficult to gain access to in the near future…hair on ya for all of your valiant efforts in documenting the history of our wilderness…

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