Saturday, April 17, 2010

That's Better

Last night wasn't one for the Ages, but it was a pleasant surprise.

Things looked a little overwhelming on first glance at the Work Orders. Signs on the walk up from the parking lot to the Shop weren't encouraging...then a huge list, given the conditions. On the bright side, the fleet was hale and hardy, and Swing Shift was staying until 0200.

With the boys staying on the hill, I was reunited with my favorite BR350. She was parked on the side of the hill, away from the power pole that feeds the block and tank heaters of the cats. Plugging in these new Electronically Controlled Diesel Engines is really important...the heaters keep the coolant and hydraulic fluid warm and supple. The starter turns a warmed engine over easier, and the warmed oil moves a little easier as well. All this shortens the warm-up time...operating temps are reached in half the time, and the Cab Heaters blow warm air from the onset.

I had the guys go to my Bare Bones Plan, knowing we'd be losing an hour or so to the 0200 Shift Change that now included Cat Swaps. The Terrain Park Crew has been downsized too, so we had some trails to maintain for them added to our list. We even had to retrieve one cat from the far side of the Mountain before we could start grinding out some corduroy!

Fortunately, the piste was grooming out better than the perceived conditions would suggest. My guys realized before I let them know, that they could flesh-out their lists too. We weren't exactly flying Hero-Style, but the acres did add up, the fleet soldiered along without a hiccup, and the Sun rose on the Home Stretch with us right on schedule.

I was the last cat off the Mountain, and I pulled up to the Fuel Dock right at 0830. It felt good to be back in the old Cat...she fits me like a glove, and we're still simpatico.

Tonight should be an instant replay of last night...or better. The Max Temp was down 10F over the night before, but the humidity is up near fog levels, so we'll just have to see how things play out.

A look at the Reno Forecast show the rest of my week will be a carbon copy of tonight. My next Monday will feature snow...we may end the season with a week of Hero Snow!

Here's hoping!

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