October 23, 2006

Pumpkins and Jello Shots

Saturday night we attended a pumpkin carving extravaganza. A vast variety of beers and wine were consumed as well as roughly 200 jello shots. After reading the above list, one might come to the conclusion that the evening was very unproductive. On the contrary, nearly 25 pumpkins were cleaned and carved with an awards ceremony culminating the event. Ashley won the best "cheater" pumpkin award for her snowflake. Apparently she broke the rules by bringing a stencil of the snowflake she created earlier in the day while sober. I took home the grand prize for my rendition of "paranoid". I attribute this honor to both the unique shape of my pumpkin (very tall and slender - I suppose you could use the word 'gangly' as far as pumpkins go), and the fact that I was around at the end of the party to accept my prize - a mixture of the drinks remaining at the end of the night.

October 22, 2006

Yahooie! It's Ski Season!

Today Ashley and I drove up to Vail Pass in hopes that we would find enough snow to ski on. As it turned out, the snow cover was much better than expected and the 1 foot of powder was just bonus. Yes, that was 1 foot (12 inches) of pow pow, Colorado backcountry style.

October 17, 2006

North Dakota - Shift 2

I've been pretty busy this shift, until today that is. We're having the equivilent of a snow day in grade school. The drillers decided not to work, so we are stuck here without much to do. Below is a picture of our field office - a bit snowier than last shift. It's starting to look a little more like that Fargo movie now.

October 05, 2006

North Dakota - Shift 1

I'm back in Colorado for a few days before heading back for another 10-day shift in Dickinson, ND. It's been a good learning experience so far and I've learned a lot about drilling, installing monitoring wells, and logging soil and rock core. I spent my first shift working with an experienced person, as did Ryan, who is in the same position as me. Next shift, the two of us will be working together without the supervision of experience, which should prove to be more exciting. We're actually working in the town of South Heart, 10 miles west of Dickinson. The population of the town is around 350, and I think we know most of the locals after just 10 days. The people here are pretty friendly in general, however they have a unique cultural quirk that seems to prohibit them from freely sharing their name when you introduce yourself.

Example - typical conversation with a North Dakotan:
Josh "Hi there! I'm Josh." (shake hands)
North Dakotan "Hi."
Josh "And you are?"
North Dakotan "Last July we had a really bad hail storm that destroyed all my crops."

The weather here is always windy, and the temperature this time of year ranges from 20 to 80 degrees. We've had a couple nasty, sideways rain storms which makes it difficult to write and keep paper dry. That's about as exciting as things get up here.

Our last day of work for the shift only required that we work for half a day, so we drove west a few miles to Painted Canyon, aka Bad Lands - a part of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. During a hike here, we saw two buffalo (Les Bouffs, as the French would say), a buck, and an elk - not to mention the cool rock formations that the geologists hiking with me found particularly interesting.

Mt. Field, as viewed from the jobsite.

Rotosonic drillrig setup

Painted Canyon - driving along the freeway, you come over a small rise and much of the gound unexpectedly disappears as seen in this picture

Buffalo 1 - in attempt to get close enough to take a picture, I hiked out a ridge towards the buffalo seen in the bottom right of this picture. On my way there, I looked below me and saw the one in the following picture.

Buffalo 2

Why I don't eat mushrooms