Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Long One Pine Day

This contains gross and disgusting photos towards the end. For you sick people, scroll straight to the bottom
The day normally starts at either 8 or 10 AM. And it continues well into the darkness of night. The day starts with gathering gear, equipment, good books to read, and food. A drive out a dirty dirt road to a make shift parking lot is what sets the moment. The 30-40 pound pack that feels more like 100 pounds is slapped upon my back and the hike to
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starts. It takes me about 25 minutes to hike the less than 1/2 mile. I figured over time it would get easier, but it hasn't. Of course it seems like the hike is up a 90 degree angle. As you might notice the last little part is straight up hill. Actually the whole damn hike is uphill with a short reprieve of flatness that seems uphill. Once at the tree, I drop my pack. Then I take off my shirt and start twirling it around my head...oops that is my other job. But I do take off my shirt to let it dry off.
After catching my breath, peeing (for some reason I always have to pee), and catching my breath again, I set up the days office.
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I gotta say that I can't complain about my corner office. Has some of the best views in the world.
I primarily sit for hours on end looking through the scope, reading my book, using your tax dollars and mine to sleep, and exercising (not too frequently though). So what is it that I look at? Well the birds of course....
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And then the other birds I don't need to watch, but enjoy doing so
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Then eventually, I look down the trail and see my relief in site. And I take my last round of signals, pack my stuff, and wait to turn the chair over to her. But the day isn't even over yet. Later that night I must return to this canyon, slip on a pair of gloves, and head up the hill with a backpack full of rabbits (dead of course) or a calf.
At approximately 2030 - 2100 (8-9), we drive out to the parking area and pull one of the carcasses out. I usually gag as soon as the lid is pulled off. These days my partners try to make me puke by making gagging sounds, inspecting the carcass, or like the other day touched something wet and then smelled her hand. I just walk away, compose myself, and attempt to finish the job. The first carcass is hiked up the hill to the facility. If we are taking a calf, we use a modified like wheel barrel thingy. If we are taking rabbits, we throw them in backpack and walk them up to the facility. P and I used the wheel barrel thing to take up two bags of rabbits because we had more to haul down. Probably about 6-7 in each bag. The deal was that I would place the rabbits and he would pull the old even more smelling carcass from the flight pen. Pulling the old carcass is actually when I gag the most rather than placing the fresh ones. I would place the rabbits in the ISO pens.
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While I was placing the second bag of rabbits, P prepared the carcass hauler to take down the old carcass. I think he did a pretty good job. Image hosted by
Unfortunately, he was in the front on the way back to the blind and the smell welcomes the retching full blast. He was a trooper and definitely will receive a gold star (yes, we use them frequently) for being in the back on the way back down.

Now, normally P and I would then pull the second carcass and drive it up to Hilltop to place for the free flying birds. Tonight was also a 'pick up all old carcasses and take to trash can'. Tonight we lucked out because our supervisor came along and he went to Hilltop to do other repairs and finished up the work for us. The first Friday of every month we load up all the old ones and take them to the dumpster. Today was the first Friday. So J loaded up all the old carcasses.
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Then they are taken to the dumpster. Now, I got out of the last part kind of. Well yea, I got out of it. So we had some vehicle issues to contend with so they drove to the dumpster and I shuttled vehicles and then met up with them. They were almost finished. I slipped back on a pair of gloves, walked to the back of the truck, and gagged my way out of it. I would have succeeded, but they informed me about how when it is raining it is worst. And then J said you can't even do this during those times...and he bent down and took a big whiff of the death. I gagged away as they were laughing. And then when I was near my dorm, I heard J gagging as well. I was still gagging.

I walked into the laundry room, stripped down, and took a shower. And they wonder why I don't eat before I place those dead things.

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