Sunday, May 21, 2006

There is a tear in the universe!

And I found it.

I went to Bozeman this weekend because I heard they had beer down there. As it turns out... they do. But in addition to that, they have the most awesome/insane bar sceen I have ever seen! The girls all look like they are super models... and are dressed the part. I thought there had to be some sort of event going on. Short skirts, high heels, done hair and nails... they all looked like the kind of girls that the russian mob would pay just to hang around... and all the dudes looked like they had just wandered out of the mountains for the first time in 3 years. They all had scragaly beards and dirty flanels on. There was some old dude that was ordering a drink next to me that looked like he had been panning for gold that morning. He even had the crazy old miner cackle when he laughed. Man... and I did some numbers sampling... I would say that at least 70% of the women were take home with 0 beers hot... of the ones under 30... probably close to 95%. I have never seen anything like this in my life. There was just so many hot chicks!!! with almost no dudes that appeared to be competitive. Also, the girls were so nice to talk to... no bitch or vapid ones...

(There is also the possibility that I have been hanging around in military towns to long and that this place is actually nothing special.)

On top of that, it is about 0 seconds drive to the mountains... and Yellow Stone National Park is only about an hour away.

If anyone is looking for a place to move, just to change it up... you can not go wrong with Bozman Montana.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Killers, bears, and captains

This week I saw two Bears. They were either brown bears or grizzles. Either way... They looked hungry. They were hanging out together and they were huge. Definantly one of those times that a personal fire-team comes in handy.

I got promoted... I am now a Captain in the Air Force. What this really means is that if I screw up really big, it goes on my permonant record instead of being chalked up to being a new guy. I think I would have rather stayed a lieutenant. I might have to start doing actual work now.

I was at Lewistown Montana's airport today. There was two guys that rolled in in a Hughes 500. (this is the Ferrari of helicopters) One was the pilot and the other the gunner. I went over to talk to them. As it turns out... thier entire job is to kill coyotes, wolfs, and bears. They work for the Federal Government for the Fish and Wild Life department... (that may not be exactly right... but it is close) anyway... all they do is fly around all day and shoot preditors here in Montana. They are out to protect the livestock! At 10am this morning thier total was 0 bears, 3 wolfs, and 30+ coyotes.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Crazy" is a tool for survival!

Last week I spent a few days on a Search and Rescue Mission. Let me chronicle to illustrate.

22 y/o son comes to visit his father in Montana. They go walking in the woods looking for elk antler. Father thinks son is with father's friend... Father's friend thinks son is with father.

It is discovered that they are both wrong and nobody is with son...

Sheriff is called. They track son to road where son's tracks disappear. They search for the rest of the night. Night time temperatures get to about 20F.

The squadron commander calls me, interrupting my video shoot of Nick vs the Victoria's Secret Brazilian Mafia. (this may have been just a dream... it is so hard to tell some times.) Normally it is no good if the commander calls me but he tells me he has a SAR... and I am on the list to go.

We arrive in the search area to find the sheriff and deputies drinking coffee and planning their day. We find out that the man that is lost has mild scitsophrinaia but still has the mental capacity of a 10-13 year old. Also the only thing he is Warring is a t-shirt...

We are running out of fuel, day light, and crew duty day and decide to bug out. We depart the search area with the guy's father in tears knowing that his son's chances of surviving a second night in the mountains with no shelter in just a t-shirt decrease exponentially.

Trackers and dogs continue searching till almost midnight. They track the guy over one mountain pass and up towards a second 7000' mountain pass. At midnight the quite because the terrain is getting to dangerous for the searchers at night.

We arrive at the search area again... After two nights up in the mountains... We kind of figure we are looking for a body and not a guy anymore.

Weather == Shitty

We creep our way up a few valleys toward the last place that he had been tracked. The snow is coming down; slowing ground searchers movement, making us a little nervous as to the location of huge chunks of granite, and beginning to obscure the tracks above the treeline over the pass.

We cross the 7000' pass and find the tracks continue on the other side.

Weather starts to force us down the vally away from the search area.

We land in a clearing several miles away from the search area to wait for the weather to lift a little so we can get back up into the top of the valley.

Weather continues to get shittier... it is heavy sleet now... We opt to get out of the valley completely and head back to somewhere that we arn't going to become the objective of a second SAR.

45 seconds after takeoff out of the clearing the flight surgeon looks out the window and says, "look at that guy waving... who would be crazy enough to be out in this blizzard in just a t-shirt?"

I blow a motorcycle over into a brand new truck in the parking lot outside of the hospital. (don't park a motorcycle next to a helipad!)

It all turned out alright... but is shouldn't have. This guy was out for two and a half days... it wet, sub freezing weather with nothing but a t-shirt, no food, water, or shelter of any kind, whith huge physical exertion. (Not only did he go over two mountain passes, he also traveled about 14 miles strait line distance) When asked by the flight surgeon where he slep the last two nights, he said, "I just layed down on the snow."

The best we can guess is the fact that he was a bit crazy and had no idea that people are supposed to die in those conditions is what saved him. His core body temp was only 95... Actually not to bad, and his feet where pretty tore up from hiking wet in the snow so long in tennis shoes. His mental state made him immune to the elements. After all that he was still walking and talking.

So lessons to take from this:
1. Mild craziness makes you immune/impervious to the elements and possiblely death.
2. It is much easier to hid in the mountains than I had ever hoped! Thanks for proving that dude!