Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Room of One's Own




Ever wonder how they repair the powerlines -- those located far from the trails, up a steep hill or mountainside? I never wondered either, until I saw it while hiking the other day.

A helicopter lowers the technicians, one at a time, in a rescue basket. This process alone takes maybe an hour or so. Once the workers are safe on the ground, the basket lowers bundles of equipment and tools.

The helicopter returns a couple of hours later and lowers something else. Hmm, as it's noon, what do you think -- more tools, or pizza?

Then, in the evening, the morning's process repeats itself, but in reverse. And the next day they do it all over again.

It's pretty cool to watch, but I can't help but consider, what with the expense of every helicopter sortie, more economical alternatives.

How about setting up a base camp for the two or three days it takes to finish the job. And I'm not talking about roughing it, but providing deluxe accommodations like this, the Outwell Montana. Were I a technician, I'd leap at the chance to spend a few days on top of the world, even fib about problems with crimping the wires and whatnot just to stay a little longer.

I, myself, have been shopping for a new tent. And lately, I'm all about the Brit catalogs. Cotswold, for instance; I don't know, maybe it's the fabulous model selection.

Cotswold is rather top of the line, but I absolutely don't want to be caught in the middle of a mountain thunder storm, surrounded by coyote and bear, having second thoughts about some Big Lot bargain.

Though the party tent above is too grand for me, I am smitten by these two zippy, sporty models: the Power Lizard Ultralite or better still, the Hilleberg.

I backpack, sometimes in company, and sometimes alone. So a tent that's less than three pounds? I am so there. Hell, my Chardonnay trail mix alone weighs more than that.

30 comments:

  1. I'm sorry ~ as fine as they would be to genuine hikers such as yourself, KB, they all still look like tents to me. Perhaps if they made them in white or pastel with black and white awnings and solar chandeliers, I could be forced to revise my thoughts about camping. I'm not yet convinced...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was a backpacker in my other life... oh that last paragraph gets me chuckling.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh! When you first mentioned a new tent, I thought you were using it as a metaphor for a new home. I'm not a tenter. Put me in a bed & breakfast with all life's little amenities and I'll happily wander through the woods with you during the day. I want a real bed and a shower to greet me when I get home. I think the fact that it rains every.single.time I've ever gone camping has something to do with my aversion to roughing it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, I can see it's going to take a few virtual camping trips to convince a couple of you. And maybe several glasses of Chardonnay.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mmmmm, that's a ruggedly handsome model. I mean, selection.
    DN

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good witch Glenda says it's the sleeping bag you should really worry about. Her advise - check out the end of summer sales at Target then strap your tent on Damitalbert.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was hiking this morning and the choppers were carrying the workers back and forth, back forth. Potty sorties?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Now you are talking. It's not the tent that's crucial, it's the convenience. (is that what it is called?)

    ReplyDelete
  9. My parents used to take me camping when I was a child. On the good trips, I got bronchitis. On the bad trips, I got pneumonia. But then again, I didn't have any Chardonnay; maybe that's the secret to healthy camping?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Don't know if any of that equipment would cut it in the Patch. 104 degrees in the trench today - running up and down like a mad dog, I could have used a helicopter. Then there's the wind - it cuts like knife, knocks you over, rips the word and sound from ear and mouth alike. Except when it's a 100 or more. No reprieve. Them there things got air-conditionin'?

    Talk at ya later, sister.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Checked out them models. I get pretty rugged, too, three days without a shower.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Don't know if any of that equipment would cut it in the Patch. 104 degrees in the trench today - running up and down like a mad dog, I could have used a helicopter. Then there's the wind - it cuts like knife, knocks you over, rips the word and sound from ear and mouth alike. Except when it's a 100 or more. No reprieve. Them there things got air-conditionin'?

    Talk at ya later, sister.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jean, what could they be up to? Wish I had a contact and could ride along. Marjie, you and Shell and maybe Caolynn would show up for the trip in little skirts and high heels.

    Willie -- I was worried about you, like any good sister. Give us a ripping good yarn; I'll link it up. Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have a yellow dome tent you can borrow. The last time I used it was about 1997. Problem is, it weighs about the same as a case of Chardonnay.

    I do like the goods in that catalog.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Did you believe that I never had the experience of camping?
    Love the link with the models of tent.

    ReplyDelete
  16. They should poo in the bushes, for heaven's sake. Those helicopters are expensive.

    I think one should spend on a tent depending upon how much one plans to camp. If you're only going to go once or twice, a Big Lots bargain might be just the thing. I, for example, plan on spending virtually nothing. I like camping but not by myself, and I can't get my S.O. to catch the bug.

    Where the hell is William? Sounds like he needs a chardonnay.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I suppose you think dangling from a helicopter is more adventurous than teaching grammar. Typical Hollywood-Think.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Why do you think I hike as high as my little legs will take me? It's to escape grammar.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Modifiers dangling from helicopters.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It was great visiting with you yesterday! We don't see each other often enough.

    Power line workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in the world, whether it's on power poles or the huge transformers in your photo.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Glad I can get to work via casual carpool or the train and not have to ride in a basket. I own a Moss tent that my grandparents bought for me years ago after I'd spent time with them in Maine cooking, mowing the lawn and letting them win at Scrabble. I haven't used it in a long time as I too would rather sleep in a real bed after hiking all day. But if Mr. Cotswold is free I could make an exception.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sorry katie, Mr. Cotswold is otherwise engaged. But you can have the rock climber or the runner. Matter of fact, you can have the rock climber and the runner. I won't judge you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I see they still sell Vango tents. Our little orange one is still in one piece. We camped all around Norway, Sweden and Finland in it. While hitch hiking. In Finland, we were scared a bear might find us. In Norway, we felt very safe, and in Sweden we had trouble with mosquitoes. But I'be grown out of roughing it. Give me a good night's sleep in a Motel 6 any day.

    I wish i'd seen the copter and the power line workers. Those copter pilots have a demanding job, but it must be fun.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love how you write about such unusual subjects. Your story reminds me: A few summers ago, we were at an outdoor theater which was located next to the Boise River. A range fire broke out, and we watched helicopters work bambi buckets first-hand as they scooped up river water and ferried it to douse the fire.

    Good luck with the tent. Seems like people here are offering plenty of good advice.

    ReplyDelete
  25. most of the power line workers contracts state they will be put up in a hotel/motel. Have stayed in plenty of places with line workers surrounding me. On a particularly warm evening, one of them was wandering around the inn in swim trunks and no shirt. He had quite a following of people, male and female, drooling after him.

    I suspect it is cheaper to haul them in there via copter than it is to build a hotel near the power lines...

    Camping--I used to hike the Gabrielino Trail as a youngster. Married someone who thinks "camping" is staying at the Holiday Inn because the Hilton is booked. I think my back is appreciative of that choice in mates. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I came back to check out the models.

    Seems like high-end camping tent rental ought to exist, so you get the best product for your trip but don't have to let it sit unused for long, getting obsolete.

    ReplyDelete
  27. mmm......the power lizard?? sounds more like the office creep!! You are very brave out there with all the wild beasties!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow, I didn't make a single convert. Well, I'm not through yet.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I used to camp and back pack (with Chardonnay!) ...these days, if I had to, I'd consider packing supplies (you know, on a horse!)
    However, I'm rather grateful that I married a man who bought into the idea (from an old girlfriend!) that "camping is for those who can't afford a hotel"...
    Since then, we've stayed in every conceivable hotel from the bare minimum to pretty darned luxurious and I've decided I rather like his perspective...give me a good, comfortable bed and I'm good to go!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Don't ever go camping without that wine! It's all about priorities! I spend so much time tent camping in the first half of my life that I vowed to never sleep on the ground again. Unless I have no choice, of course. Now my camping is done in an RV. My chardonnay is near the top of stocking up list before a trip. Now THAT'S camping!

    ReplyDelete