Friday, May 16, 2008

Going Underground


Alright, alright... I know. I haven't penned a new post for quite some time and I'm truly sorry. I have been very thoughtless to my loyal following, but I have been busy.

Last week I had to go to Edmonton for the Canadian mining show. I know what you're thinking, "Wow! How did he get so lucky?". Yeah... I'm charmed. You know the working in the mining industry is pretty close to being a rock star. Girls, drugs, booze. It's just party, party, party.

Yeah right.

All week I just wanted to be working on my motorbike but that damn thing called work got in the way again. It wasn't a bad trip by any stretch of the imagination, but Edmonton is definitely not for me. Too dry and dusty and my hotel as in the middle of the ghetto. The trade show was quite social and I did make a few friends. Here are some pictures:

My new Chieftain. I've been made an honorary tribesmen. Where is the Congo anyways?

The best part of the trip was going to the Potash mine in Saskatchewan. The hard part was waking up. The plane (I only call it a plane because it does fly. A more accurate name for the vessel would be cigar tube with wings) left at 6:30am. That meant that I had to be up by 4am to get myself ready and walk over to the hotel where the bus was to pick us up. I thought I was organized until I actually had to wake up and go. In my experience 4am was never made for waking up at it was made for going to bed. What kind of crazy Bizarro (read Superman comics to understand the reference) world am I in? I had my morning timed to allow me the most possible sleep. My wake up call was actually for 4:08am. I figured what harm could 8 extra minutes do. I could shave 8 minutes off my morning routine. Well the one thing I didn't account for was the walk to the other hotel. Although it was only 6 blocks away I didn't take into account that they were very, very, very long blocks. I had to really move to make it on time. This wasn't a bad thing because 4am in downtown Edmonton is no place for a leisurely walk. And what exactly is that smell?

So I made it on time and I wasn't the last person to show up so i guess I could have slept a couple of minutes longer... damn.

We make it to the sardine can of a plane and begin a long taxiing process to get to the runway. I'm not sure if the video below will work but it's the flight attendants instructions to the passengers and they are hilarious.

Once we landed in Saskatoon everything was smooth sailing. The bus was waiting for us and we arrived at the mine with time to spare. We went through a small presentation topside and then we proceeded to the hoist to take us more than 1 kilometer underground (1100 meters to be more accurate). It was hard to believe that being so deep underground it was as warm as it was. The temperature doesn't change. It was 28 degrees Celsius and quite arid. Here are some more pictures:

All in all it was a very interesting day. I would describe it as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I doubt I will ever be that far underground again, but who knows?

Now that you know what has kept me from my blogging I will get back on a better schedule. I can't wait to start the rebuild of the bike. Way more fun than underground mines and million year old rocks.

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