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     Welcome to my little personal page. Here you can find info on me and my boring life. Yippee for you. So here’s the deal. This is one of my senior pictures, taken on the Cross-Country track at White Pass, where I’ve worked for the last 3 winters.

 

 

     A very important person in my life is my girlfriend Rebecca. She’s so freakin’ cool. Here we are at my senior prom. This was the first time I had ever worn a tux. I’m not big on formal stuff.

 

 

     This summer, I’ve been working as a Wilderness Ranger and a type 2 wildland Firefighter. I have some cool pictures of both the beautiful Goat Rocks Wilderness and some crazy pictures from eastern Washington and eastern Oregon wildfires.

This is a picture taken from the junction of the Pacfic Crest Trail and the Snowgrass trail looking down into the Klickitat River Valley... pretty cool.

 

This is a picture of the Cispus Basin taken from the PCT, that's the headwaters of the Cispus River down there...

 

 

Here's a picture of what most people would call Snowgrass Flats, but it really isn't. Lots of pretty Lupine...

 

 

Pretty cool... Now on to pictures from the 2 fires I was on... The first fire was called Cantelope, and it was over out of Leavenworth. It was caused by a lightning strike, and total size was 15 acres. Really small. But, we got flown in by helicopter to it, spent 2 nights out in the middle of nowhere, with no changes of clothes or anything. it was pretty fun. Here's a picture I took from inside the helicopter... kinda sucks... I was in the middle... :(

 

 

Here's a picture of the scenery that could be seen... it's not nearly the same as being there...

 

 

Now, this here is a picture of our dear buddy Ben Proffitt being umm... yeah.... by DJ

 

 

The second fire we went on was called Sheepshead, and was located about 50 miles southeast of Burns, Oregon. It was around 70,000 acres, and we spent 12 days fighting fire, and a total of 15 away from home. This fire was a lot better than the first one, for many reasons, but the best part is that our crew was being treated like a hot shot crew, digging line, burning out and all of that whatnot. Here's a picture of our crew, GP-4, made up of 9 people from Cowlitz Valley, 6 from Mt. Adams, and 5 from Mt. St. Helens... it was super freaking fun. We had a really great crew and overhead team.

 

From top left: Brian Spitek, ME, Matt Smith, Hillary Rodgers, Brian Brady (that guy's more scrawny than me), Jesse Machado, Josh, Chris Valtierra, Brad Strid, Paul Smale, Joel. Bottom left: Len, Peter, Josh, Gretchen Fristch, DJ Martinez, Davy Clement, Pete Slonacre, and Crew boss Gary Harding

 

Here's a picture of a plane dropping some slurry... nasty stuff... about 15 minutes after this drop, I had to walk through the retardant coated grass and try to burn it out... amazingly, it lit up pretty well... but my boots still have retardant on them...

 

 

Here's a picture of the crazy duo of Joel and Josh in front of a willow patch that we burned out... the flames don't look very big, but they were standing about 75 feet away, and about 25 feet above the willow patch...

 

 

Now this here is some craziness... this first picture was taken, and we were like "ooo... wow... flames... neato..."

 

 

About 30 seconds later, we had to run like little girls, and this next picture was taken 5 mintues later, but may as well have been taken a minute after the first one...

 

 

We were standing about 50 feet into the black...

 

     Firefighting is a really fun job. I encourage anyone who is interested in it to pursue it with all vigor. Just realize that it is a very hard job. You work a minimum of 16 hour days, and I’ve worked up to 20 hour days. You often get spiked out (spending the night away from base camp out in the woods. Hot food is no guarantee.) for several days. You get dirt in places you never knew could hold dirt. You inhale insane quantities of smoke, soot, ash and dust. But it is the most fun job I have ever had. If you want to go into it because of the money, save yourself and your potential crew members, and don’t do it.