Saturday, August 15, 2009

SKYLINER HIKERS DAY 3 WEDNESDAY AUGUST 5, 2009 - a day in camp and several more challenges

By Wednesday the weather had started to improve but despite a good night's sleep I still was feeling down in the dumps and would be staying in camp but another chain of events had unfolded while most of us were sleeping.

The first that most of the camp knew that something may be wrong was when we heard a helicopter overhead - while they often pass over the camp and the Ranger could come in that way this one was landing at 7AM which is our usual wake up call - a new form of a wake call for all of us.

The short story is that one of our campers took ill during the night and decision was made to medivac her and her husband out to Canmore for follow up treatment. So we are now down to 52 campers and her husband was also one of our hike leaders so that meant more changes to today's trips.

We have satellite radio in camp so when the incident occurred it was just a case of contacting Parks Canada and they arranged for the copter to come into camp.

I don't have a follow up report of the condition of the hiker.

This is the first time in all of my camps that we have had to medivac someone out - in a strange quirk there was also a medivac in the previous week's camp - in that case someone slipped a disk in their back and couldn't walk out.

The cost of the medivac is usually covered by Parks Canada as part of the backcountry access fee that we pay in our fees - otherwise the Skyliners pick up the tab.

After getting all the hikes out for the day I return to my tent and spend the rest of the day recouping and strengthening my mental state - towards the afternoon I am feeling better and join some of the happy hoursgang - have 2 beers and then started to feel even better.

But that was not the end of my woes - while chewing on an apple another one of my front teeth came out - I have three rebuilt upper front teeth - two are crowns and one a regular filling - the regular filling had already fallen out before camp and now one of the crowns has come loose - not the first time it has come out. Must remember not to smile with the mouth opened too much.

Below are some camp scenes taken throughout my time in camp.

This is the tent for the medic in camp - the red cross makes it easy for the campers to find if necessary.

The Skyline teepee is the official mascot of all the camps - up until the 1960's teepee's were used in the camps.

One of the two entrance gates to the camp - an electric fence rings the camp to discourage wildlife from entering the camp.
The tents are in several clusters - usually more to do with flat ground than anything else - as this is only the 2nd time the Skyliners have been in the area the camp area isn't as chewed up as some of the others.

The donut - our nightly meeting place - flags from many of the countries that hikers have come from are displayed.

Looking out from camp - the bridge crosses Cross creek in camp - separates our eating and outfitters area from our sleeping area - that's Whiteman Mountain in the distance - while the weather was improving it was still more cloud than sun.

That is our water pump and filter with some of the tents in the background.
I use the creek to keep my refreshment cool - as long as it is below our water source we are able to do this and also dip our feet into the creek - most used a spot just outside the main camp gate for their "bathing and foot relaxation "

Hikers arriving back head for the dining hall - for hot water, coffee and cookies.
I had a fire going all day - wanted to dry out some of the wet clothes - my tent mate Peter was appreciative of this - it doesn't take too long for the small pot belly stoves to warm up the tent.
Supper was pork roast, potatoes, veggies etc.
Next up - another attempt to reach Azure Lake.

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