I had high hopes for this summer. Yup. Big dreams.
My family and I, as mentioned briefly in my first post, packed our things and headed seven hours north, deep into the bush, where we would engage in mining exploration all summer. Though my job would be that of a camp cook, I intended on really beefing up my Teachers Pay Teachers store with anchor charts, math unit plans, a short story unit, a novel study on the Maze Runner, along with other goodies. I also brought some books that have been on my 'must read' list because well, I really didn't want to find myself bored.
Bored is not what a person is when they're responsible for feeding a dozen or so grown men and women that trudge through swamps all day, cut lines, drill, and prospect. Ensuring that everyone has three square meals isn't just a full-time job, it's an ALL day job!! We're up at 7:00 am to put breakfast on the table. Then we make bagged lunches for everyone. After lunches and breakfast clean-up, we put dinner together. On very special days, we finish this task early, and actually enjoy a couple of hours to ourselves in the afternoon. Usually I'm too tired to read though and have been known to indulge myself with a wee nap. However, 4:30 comes around quickly and we're back at it again to begin dinner preparations. After dinner is over, there is of course, clean up. And by the time everything is looked after and put away, it's 8:30 pm and we're done... beat... too tired and worn out to join our staff at the fire. We might play a games of cards, watch a little t.v. (we get two channels!!), but then we're off to bed.
There are also regular trips into town to shop for food and supplies, replenish fuel, dump runs, and of course my personal favourite (can you feel the sarcasm here??) - laundry. Sometimes we're in town everyday for 4 or 5 days.
And a trip into town isn't like running to the store for milk. Oh no. It's driving through old logging roads and widened atv trails and down dirt roads that are nothing but giant washboards. And the time for one way? 40 minutes or so.
However, what IS really incredible about what we're doing, is what we're doing. This experience we're giving our children and ourselves too, is unlike anything else. It's a real family deal as the company, GOOD Mining Exploration Inc, is owned by my husband and myself along with two other partners. Three of our six children are here working with us as well. Our 5 year old is one of them and clearly LOVES being his dad's little helper. My husband's mother and brother have also both spent a significant amount of time here, helping me run the 'kitchen'. We have some excellent employees and also had many geologist students offering their time through our student-volunteer program in order to gain valuable experience. Everyone here has truly become a part of our family.
I also have a tiny confession to make...
Yes it's hard work but we do sneak in some quality fishing time. The pickerel are AMAZING here and like clockwork, they bite every night at the same time. We also get some great ATV riding in. The trail system here is incredible. Hundreds of trails webbed together provide hours and hours and hours of good outdoor fun and adventure.
So it's true that this summer was not what I'd originally planned or hoped for, but it's been incredible, and I'll be very sad to see it come to an end.
|My silly kid insisted on having a 'sink' bath.|
|Gorgeous sunsets right at our doorstep!|
|This is Hawkin, our first student, on the left, and Dennis, our senior geologist on the right. That is of course, me in the middle.|
|A little fun in the camp.|
|My amazing mother-in-law and me.|
|My mother-in-law and brother-in-law, two truly incredible people who saved my life when they offered to help me cook for all the hungry people.|
|The drill rig in action.|
|That's one of my boys there to the left.|
|Gotta love a good photo bomb!|
|Dump runs were always fun when the bears were out.|
|From left to right, we have Kira, Frank (my hubby), Chay, Athraa, and Dennis in the back.|
|I caught those two, big beauties!!!|
|It was a great night fishing.|