Sunday, December 20, 2009


I just got off the Mountain. My first week back in my tractor is now in the books. My crew kicked ass last fact, I parked it at 06:30! Work orders completed, warmer conditions overnight made for Firm Pack Hero Conditions.

Sleep deprivation aside, It was an auspicious first week back for TruckeeDave.

Wednesday night, I checked out and warmed up my faithful Prinoth BR350, only to find the Operator's Throne all snafu-ed. No longer sliding front to back, there was enough room behind the seat for my ample carcass, but not enough room in front of the throne to commit to a 10 hour shift.

I jumped ship after 20 minutes to a newer, shiny Bison instead. (The Bison is a Prinoth BR350 with a few popular updates) A longer stinger carries a High Lift Tiller, the Pumps and Motors are Rexroth's instead of the Sunstrands in the basic BR350, and the blade is a little more aggressive. Bison's are really nice tractors, but my three year old BR350 fits me like a comfortable old T-Shirt, and she's never let me down while doing more work than I ever imagined possible.

I whined at everyone who'd listen, wrote it all up on the Checkout Sheet, and lo and behold, the seat was fixed, and I finished my week in her...on Hero Snow to boot! As Steinbeck wrote in "Cannery Row": "Once again the world was spinning in greased grooves"

As is usual for hard working snowcats, not every onboard system was online...The radio was not receiving any radio signals. Undaunted, I rigged up my iPod and it's FM Transmitter and the Pioneer pulled it in fine. Diagnosis? Unplugged antenna to the Stereo. I wrote it up, along with profuse kudos and thanks to the mechanics for repairing the seat.

To recap: A short night to finish my first week...back in my favorite Groomer of All Time, grooming Hero Snow, listening to Jeff Beck, Stevie Wonder, and a bunch of Podcasts via the new iPod, and wrapping it up by 06:30...Priceless!

I get two days off before the real Christmas Holidays Grind. Everyone works Six Days this week! Business has been good so far this week, a quick storm is forecast to sweeten the pot Monday into Tuesday...just the thing to pump up the public's SkiLust!

We're playing for a New Bison this week! The Big Boss said we will buy another new Bison this season if we do well over the Christmas Holidays...the outlook is good my friends!

On my way home this morning, I had to pull over to photograph the "Red Skies In Morning" scene...beautiful!

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