Tues 5/10/11

Beau and Justin left to climb at Nelson and I did some housekeeping organizing of my own stuff in the trailer. I finished up reinforcing the tent and moved most of my gear inside there. It should be a lot better after my cot arrives.  Then I ate a bowl of oats and raisin bran for breakfast. I organized more of my stuff and took some pictures of my tent. I then took to the road on my red bike toward NROC. Thirty minutes later I was at NROC looking for some internet access. Finding no one which new the password, I headed down the road to Seneca. About 11.5 miles and 45 minutes later I arrived to reconnect to the outside world. I hung out at Seneca for a while, checking email and talking to whoever came by. Then I introduced Nicole to Seneca. We hiked up the East Face trail, aka cardiac hill, and then took a break to enjoy the view from the north summit. On the descent we walked down the closed tourist trail. The trail was very washed out, full of rocks, and the steps were removed – making for a difficult scramble down.  After the hike we went to the Gendarme to see if it was still open. I wanted to try on some 5.10 shoes and Nicole wanted to buy a locking carabineer.  Massey was there to let us in. After some of his great guacamole dip and some chips he offered to drive me back to the trailer. I was not going to turn down a ride when I knew I had about 20 miles to ride, and some clouds were rolling into the valley. It was certainly a puzzle trying to get my bike into his car, but eventually made it work after taking both wheels off and lowering the seat all of the way. Once back in the trailer I made myself a peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

Wed 5/11/11

This morning the alarm went off at 7 and my first day of work was about to begin. I arrived at 8:30 willing to do whatever I was told to do. The first thing that Kellee asked me was, “Can you drive a tractor?” I then asked if it was manual or automatic and she mentioned clutch and I then told her that I am willing to learn. Jim then taught me what I needed to know and we did a practice session driving the trailer up to the top of the canopy tour and then back down. All went well and Jim told me that I was just as good as he is.

Kellee sent me up to work with Jim with doing some constructing up at the hut. We had to carefully remove everything from the walls and then add some hooks for the canopy tour equipment to be hung from. Jim then had to get ready for an 11am tour.

Once back at the yellow house Kellee had Beau go up and give Nicole and me a run through of the Canopy Tour. For time sake, and for ease, I drove my car up the hill and we started. Beau covered how to set up the trolley on the cables and where the lanyards go while zipping.  We took our time on the Judy zips and then flew through the Nelson zips. Beau had to be back at the yellow house at 1 to get ready for a tour so he was a little rushed. Once we were back Nicole had to drive me up to the cabins so that I could retrieve my car.

At 2pm there was a big group of Habitat for Humanity workers which came over from Franklin, WV. The 24 of them filled both the canopy tour along with the Via Ferrata. A maximum for the canopy tour is 10 participants and 2 guides and the maximum for the Via is 14 participants to 2 guides. I watched as Kimmy and Adam led the canopy tour. After they had their equipment on they loaded into the golf cart trailer attached to the tractor and I hopped into the driver’s seat. The driving went well until the left hand turn up the hill. I was trying not to make it too jerky for the riders in the back and I took it too slow going up and stalled the tractor. The tractor shut off and started to roll back a bit until I slammed on the breaks. Justin was there and he helped me keep my cool as I started it up again and put it in low gear, instead of medium. I gave it full throttle and we chugged our way up the hill, almost at walking pace. After that, I know that there is more to learn when it comes to pulling a large group up a steep hill.

At the top I listened in on their briefing before the practice zip. Once Adam zipped on down I headed back to the tractor and drove down to the midway station. I was given by Kellee 3 Master keys to find one which would unlock the ladder to the 1st sky bridge.  Thankfully 2 of the keys that I had worked for that lock and I didn’t have to rush down and then back up to try to find a key to unlock it before the group arrived.

I parked the tractor out front and had enough adventures on that for the day. Kellee sent me over to the post office to mail some gloves back to Liberty Mountain. The post office in Circleville made me think that I was living a few decades ago.

At 4pm Kellee had a conference call with the accounting lady and a man from the software program company. It was good to get a little insight of the program which they use for accounting and reservations for the tours.  When the canopy tour came back I helped them organize and put the gear back on the living room floor.

I made a quick run over to Seneca to try to find some information on a trailer over there but had no luck in finding the woman who I needed to talk to.

After I came back to NROC, I helped organize the Via Ferrata gear when that group came back. Everyone was heading off at that point. Beau and I talked about some bikes as we installed his new front tire. We then spent some time connecting with the outside world and then he rode with me back as we left his bike and my red bike in the yellow house garage. (Beau rode my red bike in today)