I really do like getting up and going to work in the morning.
I wasn’t always so eager, but I love coming out west in the winters and freezing in ice roads. I don’t know why.
Before you get excited I’ll tell you that it’s not like on the show. This is a totally different type of ice road, as it’s built across muskeg instead of water. Sure we cross rivers and streams, but never across an expanse of water like a lake or inlet. I probably wouldn’t like it as much as this, what with the wind and such, but I’d be open to trying it for sure.
If you’re wondering what muskeg is, it’s most easily compared to that sphagnum peat moss that you buy for your gardens or house plants. It’s very spongy and it’s quite easy to break through it and sink if it’s not soaked with water and then frozen. I have seen machines and trucks sink in it before, but so far I’ve been pretty lucky.
I think the thing I like about building these roads is that it’s very low stress, pays well, and also uses a lot of my problem solving brain occasionally. Throw in the natural beauty of the land, the extreme temperatures, and the fact that there is an endless supply of shitty coffee in the camp, and you have yourself a pretty good little gig.
Oh yeah, the camp.
If you are lucky, you get into a decent one. I am not usually lucky in that regard.
Bologna, pepperoni, and summer sausage are what we get to choose from for lunch. There is the odd soggy pita filled with egg salad or tuna, but you learn pretty quick to leave that shit alone. Paper thin walls and blankets, or the occasional sewer backup also add to the mystique of camp life, but its saving grace is that the cook loves food, and he tries to create delicious meals from drastically sub par ingredients.
He sometimes succeeds.
In spite of its many downfalls, my job makes it worth staying in a fleabag dump so far from the people I love the most. I’ve done several jobs in the oilfield, but this is the only one that I truly love to do. It’s maybe only a little more than a month a year, but it’s a month that I feel like I am meant to do something other than writing.
Oh, and my marital duties.
For those of you that are unsure; I’m talking about making love.
Sweet, sweet love.
Yes, with my wife.
And a friend if she will ever go for it.
She probably won’t. :(