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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Unexpected Disruptive Events

Part 2

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Another thing the Rec District lacked back then was two-way radios or cell phones - although the truck had a scratchy phone that worked in some spots. Often we labored in deep snow in below zero conditions, sometimes more than a dozen miles away from civilization with no contingency plan in the event of mechanical breakdown. Evening was usually the strategic time temperature wise, so the paths would properly freeze and cure, therefore this was usually when we commenced grooming. One evening in dropping twenty-degree weather, the supervisor dropped me off below Ketchum, where I was to groom up to Hulen Meadows before turning around. He said that he would check on me in about six hours, as he planned to groom a large section of the Boulder Trail up north. However, only about three hours later, I saw his truck on the road above Teresa Heinz’s house. He signaled for me to stop at the next intersection where he waded through tall snow banks to tell me that he had tried to hitchhike to the other end of the trail, but that nobody would give him a ride. The plan was for him to park the truck at the near end of the trail and then hitchhike to the far end where the snow cat was, so that he could end up in the dark at his work truck. However, only two cars passed by in his 2 ½ hours of waiting in the cold and one of them even was a Forest Service truck. So he gave up.

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