September 10, 2001

"Good days, bad days. Up days, down days. Sad days, happy days--but never a boring day on this job. You do what God has called you to do. You show up, you put one foot in front of another, you get on the rig and you do the job, which is a mystery and a suprise. You have no idea when you get on that rig, no matter how big the call, no matter how small, you have no idea what God's calling you to do.
"You love this job. We all do. What a blessing that is. A difficult, difficult job, and God calls you to it, and he gives you a love for it, so that a difficult job will be well done."
-Father Mychal Judge

Father Judge was killed the following day, Sept 11, 2001.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

River Rescue

I was able to spend the last weekend being trained by the instructors of Montana River Guides. They spent three days teaching us the ins and outs of safely dealing with a very unpredictable challenge--Swift Water Rescue. While being on whitewater is nothing new or foreign to me, the demands of this class put things in a new perspective. Cody and Lila, our instructors, were able to draw on years of experience and research to give us a class that was top notch. And who wouldn't give a few days to go play on the river. Bumps and bruises aside, this was an awesome class.

Time was spent below the gates of Gem Lake where the instructors could customize the flow of the river, presenting new challenges to the students. The first challenge, of course, was beating the heat. We had a shelter set up, but being wrapped in a giant air and water tight garbage bag makes it tough to cool off. Among other tasks was a shallow water crossing in swift water. At the rate the water was flowing, it put about 200 lbs. of force on just our legs. Fortunately, we were able to stand Rob Hall out there in front and anchor off of him.