What does your normal routine look like?
0500 – I wake up to my roommates alarm going off
0515 – My own alarm goes off and I continue to lie in bed and regret all decisions that have gotten me here
0530 – Finally corralled enough energy to get up and make breakfast and lunch for the day
0545 – Hydrate and watch TV until the bosses show up at 0600
0600 – Continue to regret life even more as we start our morning work out
0615 – We finally get in the groove and I remember that life could be a whole lot worse
0715 – Finish our run/work out and get ready to head to the thinning unit
0730 – A nice scenic drive along the creek listening and dancing to some tunes (Usually Reggae)
0800 – Get to the thinning unit and start cutting trees!
1200 – Lunch
1230 – Continue thinning for the rest of the afternoon
1500 – Load up and drive back (Usually listen to some Oldies on the way home)
1530 – Get back to base and start cleaning saws and equipment
1630 – Debrief for the day
1631 – Crack open a cold one with the boys
Tips on how to stay positive.
Being on an all-veteran crew, it is pretty hard to be negative. It is apparent that everyone wants to be here and work hard (besides getting up early). Everyone has great personalities and we all love to hangout on weekends.
How have your efforts helped Umatilla National Forest?
We thin trees along the roadside so that in the case of a forest fire, 1. It won’t jump the road, and 2. Crews can drive their trucks off the road to keep it clear for other traffic.
What is your favorite part of the term so far?
My favorite part of the term is probably just hanging out with the crew whether we’re hiking or sitting around the fire at night.
Activities/Qualifications completed thus far?
I’ve completed the Forest Service chainsaw certification and First Aid /CPR and Epi-Pen certification. We’ve spent most of our time thinning trees around the forest and cutting down hazard trees in the campgrounds. We’ve also done a volunteer project with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation building fences around protected species of trees.
Describe the landscape and weather.
The landscape is filled with roaming hills and mountains, covered in gravel rock, ginormous tamaracks and ponderosa pines, and lots of off-road trails to mountain bike or run on. The weather in this area has been the hardest part; it’ll be 85 and sunny all morning then snowing in the afternoon. There’s always some kind of weather blowing through, even in June, but we work through most of it unless there’s lightning.