Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Transit and transiting across open spaces

During the Olympics in Vancouver this last February, the city came alive with a spirit of joy and fellowship, the likes of which I had never seen before. The streets in the center of the city were barricaded and pedestrians were free to mill about as they wished. I only managed to get right downtown once during the games, I like many, had no tickets to the venues but went down to just soak up the ambiance and a few suds. I went on the SkyTrain, the local rapid transit, with my brother-in-law. Once downtown we wandered a bit, stopped for a bite to eat and then headed over to the "Zip Line".

The Zip Line is a pair of cables stretched across an open park area, attached to a very high scaffolding on one side and a lower one on the the other side about 300 meters away. The objective is to hook yourself to one or the other of the cables with pulley and assume your mass, the pulley, the cable, gravity and the lower scaffold all align perfectly and you don't become a splatter at the base of the higher scaffold for jumping off it.

It is quite safe, and in spite of spending hours at altitude and even having taken a rock climbing course at the University, it was a little difficult to just walk off the edge of the tower.
Of course the other aspect was that there was normally about a 3-4 hour line up for this free activity, I wouldn't have waited and in fact due to the Bro-in-law having been High School buddies with the fellow managing the event, we got the "Rock Star" treatment: In the back door, waiver signed as two assistants help select and install the harness and helmut on each of us and then subtly insert us in the line at the base of the tower.

It was a gaaaaassssssss,

The other aspect of the Olympics was that they instituted a surcharge at the airport for the SkyTrain, a $5 surcharge, only if you boarded the transit at the first 3 stops nearest the Terminal building.
My company office is at the second stop and I had discovered it you purchased a book of tickets you didn't incur the surcharge, in fact the books give a discount over the regular fair.
The surcharge annoyed me and I made a point of telling everyone about the ticket books.
One evening, having been in the office to check for mail on a return trip from visiting Balloon Girl, I watched a fellow wearing the Olympic garb, vest, bandanna and hat approach the automated ticket kiosk for the SkyTrain. He looked at it and looked at it again. I asked "Are you buying ticket?" He kind of ignored me but not quite and I asked again. His reply was "Yes?" as if to ask why I was asking. I went into my spiel about how I thought it was a terrible idea to impose a surcharge and that it was going to cost him an extra $5 just to use the transit from the airport. He nodded and I then drug out my book of tickets and showed the price to him and said if he wished he could have one for what it cost me. He reached into his pocket and handed me 2 twonies ($4, the about the price of the tickets). We chatted a bit then he noticed my crew bag and asked what I did, I replied I was a pilot for XXX XXXXXXX and he nodded. I asked if he was a colleague, (seems that is the code around here to see if you also work for XXX XXXXXXXX). He replied in the affirmative and we chatted a bit more. After we were on the transit a while I asked where he was going and he said "for dinner with the boss, and and the money guys". I said "Huh?" and he smiled and said "YYY YYYYY (The president of the company) and the folks from ZZZZZZZZZZ ( a multinational finance and leasing corporation with large manufacturing interests), He re-introduced himself as HHHHHHHH ( a name I immediately recognized) the Executive VP of Human Resources.
I told him to give my regards to the gentlemen but due to my less than natty attire I would have to decline any invitations for dinner that night, he chuckled.

As we further chatted it was determined we would both be going to Sydney Australia on the same flight later in the month, he riding and me flying. So we agreed to meet and chat some more on the flight.

Unfortunately, that was the first flight I was scheduled for after my concussion, so I was unable to attend. We had exchanged business cards so as a courtesy and not really expecting a reply from an Executive VP on a social matter of this sort, I emailed him that I would be unable to work that flight due to the concussion suffered when playing hockey. His reply was long and sincere, I was pleased.

Now as I write, I have spent most of the day the last three days on the phone to Employee services trying to get out of the mess my file appears to be in. Long story short, no longer being paid as my extended sick pay is paid not by the company but by the insurance company and they don't seem to be able or willing to talk to each other and I apparently still need more forms filled out to get paid.

I thought I had gotten them all filled in weeks ago, but apparently not and instead of asking me for them the policy is to wait until I raise a fuss then tell me it's my fault for not completing the "Easter egg hunt, but we're not going to tell how many eggs there are or which park we hid them in" task.

I think I will be sending one more email today.

Take Care

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fatigue is tiring

I work night shift mostly, it seems that one should be able to sleep when you are tired but that doesn't seem to work for me.
My job is that of a long haul airline pilot. I try not to spread that around as most of my career people have wanted to hear about all the horror stories that I have and mostly it is a job that is really quite mundane, "Hours and hours of sheer boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror" is the old gag line, it's not really true.

Statistically, the most dangerous part of my job is the ride to and from the airport. It is a great job and some of the other pilots, men and women, adapt well to the "overseas" flying, I don't. I enjoy the dynamic aspect of the job, thinking in 3 dimensions and considering energy management of planning the flight to optimize the efficiency of the several hundreds of thousand pounds (kilograms actually, we use metric measures now).

En route, the job becomes rather mundane, monitoring radios/ACARS(a fancy fax machine)/ checking the flight plan/ monitoring systems/ recording time and fuel at waypoints that are usually about 40-60 minutes apart/ interfacing with the cabin crew (since 9/11 we are no longer able to have "guests" on the flight deck, it used to be a real pleasure to have someone come up and ask the myriad of questions that they always had, or have a young person come up and show them the lights and controls that encompass us as we work).

On most airliners today, the crew requirement is for two pilots, on the long haul we operate with up to four. On a four crew operation we all are present on the flight deck (the term cockpit left the jargon many years ago) for the first part of the flight until we are established in the cruise portion and then again from the start of the initial descent from cruise until we complete the flight at the gate. The more eyes and ears the better.

During the cruise portion of the flight on the long haul flights we can take a break, two pilots are required to remain in the flight deck, except for short periods when one can leave for physiological reasons (pee break). The cruise time is divided into two or four breaks and we can leave the flight deck and have a "rest". The modern long haul aircraft are equipped with crew rest facilities. These range from a curtain around the business class seat, usually placed in the least desirable location in the cabin, next to the lavatory and the galley, as the revenue passengers don't care to be disturbed by the continual banging of the lav. door that vibrates the seats adjacent to them or the rattling and banging of the galley doors and equipment as the flight attendants (don't call them "stewardess/stewards unless you are willing to face the wrath of a large deity).

The flight attendants are generally great but there is an undercurrent of animosity that has permeated the work place, by only a few, but it is omnipresent, due to the jealousy of the facility and length of our breaks. On the longer flights you can find them in the economy seats or occasionally lying on a mound of blankets on the floor of the galley on some aircraft that are not on the very long haul, the longer haul aircraft do have cabin crew rest facilities with bunks.

The flight deck crew on the aircraft I am presently on (the very long haul/ultra long haul) is a modern wonder. The rest facility is ensconced in essentially the overhead bins, that may sound crazy but the aircraft is a single deck design but has enough room to place a small area for two seats (with entertainment systems just like the passengers) and two lay flat bunks separated by a petition but essentially two coffins with reading lights, side by side, no room to stand up but it is quite comfortable and the best part is that it is away from the banging doors and clattering trays and galley carts.

It sounds like a wonderful place to rest. It's not. The low frequency vibration of the craft keeps you in a continual state of tension even when you do get to sleep, your brain is saying "watch out, you might get tossed out of bed" by the subtle clues that are telling it you are not completely secure here and your muscles never relax completely, taught, waiting for that next jostle. The noise of the engines and believe it or not the wind noise across the skin of the ship is insidious, omnipresent and fatiguing, your ears never being more than a foot or so from the inner cabin wall.

Then you get to the hotel. The lay-overs in exotic destinations: Australia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Frankfurt, What a dream job. The layovers are generally 24 hours as you take the next flight out the following day, just the exact wrong amount of time for a proper rest. You've worked the flight over, onboard crew rest aside, and arrive exhausted. If you sleep for 8 hours, you awaken to the local clock being early evening and have a 12-16 hour void to fill, usually in the downtown areas we stay not much to do at 2 am, and then you are ready for another sleep but its time to strap on the plane again and get to work. Consequently, the norm is to grab a short nap, 2-3 hours, and meet with the other crew members, usually just the "front end" as the days of crew fraternization are pretty much a thing of the past. You plan a long walk, got to get the kinks out from the up to 16 hour flight you came in on and a meal. Usually eating dinner at about 8 am body clock time, the legendary alcohol consumption of the past has pretty much ceased in the last decade, the consequences of the third beer, even after a good sleep still puts you in jeopardy of the zero tolerance for any blood alcohol measured by the random checks (and this is a good thing, incidentally you can have a small trace of blood alcohol from body generated sources due to some physical disorders and there have been pilots caught up by this very thing)

The subsequent sleep, after another long walk after a too big dinner/breakfast, is welcome respite. Usually for about 2-3 hours, then the body clock kicks in and says "it's 3 pm, what are you doing?" Your melatonin levels are out of whack because you have been chasing the sun all flight or walking around in the daylight in spite of it being night time at home.

You lay awake, now middle of the night at the destination but midday for your circadian rhythm desperately trying to rest for the next 10-16 hour flight, usually falling asleep minutes before the wake up call that starts the whole circadian jostle again, daylight induces the body to adjust to the local clock and then the night shift home again, arriving usually before noon, planned that way by the airline so the passengers can make ongoing connections to the final destination.

The drive home is usually the most dangerous activity I do. Tired and feeling ill usually, fatigue is insidious, your brain is in neutral and you are not really there. I usually can't sleep when I get in the door and if I do, it sets up the long night of not sleeping, then as you adjust to the home clock again, your brain stays behind.

I have found I mustn't use power tools or try anything requiring much concentration for at least two days after I am back. Golf handicaps soar, the drill usually doesn't stop until it is biting the flesh, well you get my drift.

I have been off work for a month now and am finally getting a full night's sleep, something which I haven't enjoyed for the most part of the last 6 years. It's refreshing to not have the fog of fatigue hanging over your every thought and deed.

I bid off the overseas last fall but will not be trained on the new to me, domestic airplane until at least this coming September, I had taken the overseas job to facilitate the balloon girl and having time to spend with her, she takes a lot out of you and I felt I had to be there for her, but being there fatigued, I couldn't do the other things I needed to do.

I am looking forward to returning to work as soon as I get the OK from the medical staff

(concussion see last paragraph)

but do not look forward to the fatigue, September won't come soon enough for me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Horses are cool

I got back to the condo late this afternoon from visiting the balloon girl, a one hour and forty minute flight away. It was nice and sunny there and it is mostly cloudy and cool here. We had a great time yesterday and today, both days she chose to go to the Mall and see the Sea Lion Show. Yesterday we sat in the "pay" bleachers, today dad cheaped out and we watched the show from the upper deck of the Mall in spite of her initial protests. She enjoyed the show just as much both days in the end and she always gets whoever is around to clap and smile. We took a flock of balloons (they fly away if not properly tethered, so must come in flocks) back to her apartment and I left some easter candies for tomorrow.

Tomorrow she starts back horse back riding. She has ridden horses for six or more years now, in the spring and in the fall. It is Therapeutic Riding and is the most wonderful thing in her world. Before she started the therapeutic riding we had tried everything to get to focus. She still is not interested in watching TV or playing games as such. We spent hours, two or three minutes at a time, sitting on the couch, bribing her with Smarties, at the doctor's or some other professional's direction, trying to get her to sit and focus on one thing.
I had taken her to places where they had pony rides and in spite of wanting to pet the horse and even indicating she wanted to ride, she always balked at the last minute, freezing up and not willing to get on the pony.

I would have bet a months pay that the therapeutic riding was not going to work but we had waited for several months to get to the top of the waiting list and were willing to try anything to get her to have an activity that she could participate in.

Well the people at the therapeutic riding were wonderful and couched her onto the horse and she rode the entire hour without so much as one protest. It is hard work sitting on a horse that long but she loved it and persisted.

She signs horse tens of time every day and when she isn't riding, I will often take her to the stable just to visit the horses and watch for a short time, anyone that might be riding in the indoor arena.

ASL sign for horse:

The horses are such kind animals and the staff and volunteers are the best!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Candles and Fear

Candles are not my favorite form of illumination, I prefer sunlight, moonlight, firelight (campfire), incandescent , fluorescent, LED, or dashboard lights, not necessarily in that order. The full moon is the very best light at times and I have thanked my stars for the clouds to peel away so the moon can illuminate the way, but any thing from half moon up is good, the crescents just don't have enough light to maneuver your way through the thunderheads I encounter at work.

Candles always evoke the memory of waking one morning with a terrible splitting headache, I was 16 so no, it was not a hangover. My sinuses seemed congested and the air had a smokey smell as it sometimes does when there are forest fires nearby.

I was late for school as was usually the case and had ran up to the kitchen only to grab a piece of toast and go, my mother told me I had a dirty face, she never usually commented on my grooming, I noticed some mascarra or something around her nostrils and said she had a dirty face too. I sported the short haircut of the Air Cadets and although admittedly a bit of a slob, did take pride in my appearance. I would usually hit the washroom again just before leaving for a quick wash and ensure my Air Cadet short hair was still in proper formation.(I was the Squadron Drill Sergeant. I often wondered if they had used me as a model for the drill sergeant in the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman", I doubt it).

About this time I noticed a black mark on the back of my hand,
I rubbed my irritated nose once again and another streak appeared. I went back to the washroom and looked in the mirror, the first visit I had thought the light was playing tricks on me and heavy shadows had appeared in my nostrils and just under my nose. Well now two distinct track of black lay across my lower face, just under my nose and I ran back to see if the black on my mothers face was the same. It was, and what it was was black soot, We looked around and noticed the entire house had a dull tone, on further inspection everything seemed ensconced in a very fine layer of black soot, only thick enough to dull the tone not obscure it. The walls, the drapes, the counters, the floor, the furniture it was all covered in soot.

Where could it have possibly come from. By now my sister was up and she had a dirty face too. The nostrils of all of us were as if someone in the night had colored the insides of each of our noses with a charcoal crayon and the little tell tale charcoal half moon under each nostril looked like a shadow in a very eerie way.
Last to rise was my father, he also sported the darkened nostrils and soon we were trying to determine where this mysterious soot had come from.

After an extensive search of the house, we found, in a basement room divided because it was too long otherwise, by a curtain and behind the curtain was my sisters hide away/quiet spot. Was my old bookcase, the kind with glass doors, hand made for one of my birthdays, sitting half burnt up and the remnants to candles that had sat directly on the wood shelves.

My sister had lit two candles to read by in her basement sanctum, had left them burning and forgot them. I don't carry a grudge on this at all just recalling the facts, as she was young and it was not on purpose, and thankfully no one perished.

I do like candles on a birthday cakes but the others never really soothe me. In fact open flames to a sailor or an aviator (I sail and fly) on a craft, are one of the few things that can evoke utter terror.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements

In the best selling book The Four Agreements don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. The Four Agreements are powerful in their simplicity. For those starting out on a personal growth path, following The Four Agreements and implementing them in your life can be an excellent practice. With practice these agreements become integrated into your being and every area of your life and become easy habits to keep.

Everything you do is based on agreements you have made. In these agreements you tell yourself who you are, what everyone else is, how to act, what is possible, and what is impossible. What you have agreed to believe creates what you experience. When these agreements come from fear, blocks and obstacles develop keeping you from realizing your greatest potential.

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, Amber-Allen Publishing, San Rafael, CA (1997)

Simple as they sound the first is the most difficult for most people.

Take Care

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stress, distress and distraught in a joyous world

Feeling a little blue today, I told my lawyer I was "distraught" when I arrived to be served with the papers my soon to be ex filed for divorce. The divorce has been inevitable for quite some time, so that was not causing my funk. Driving to the appointment my doctor's secretary called. She advised me that I have an appointment with a neurologist, May 27th. It is due to my concussion, I had whacked myself on the head playing hockey (with a very good, new helmut on) as mentioned earlier. I was glad to hear that the doctor was concerned about my concussion enough to book me into a neurologist, I only had wished that she would have saved the news until I saw her at my next appointment on this coming Thursday and let me know what her concerns were and why a neurologist is involved. On the up side it looks like I will have lots of time for golfing, the neck is almost completely healed from the whiplash that also occurred, and fishing this spring.

My mechanic who sorted out my engine problem on my free car is a fisher and has invited me to come fishing with him. He was the one that I mentioned, had told me to expect an $836 bill for the fuel pump. As it turned out it was low fuel pressure caused not by a defective pump, but simply the filter in the fuel tank and at a minor cost we are up and running, new muffler, rear breaks and an oil change cost me about what I would have had to pay just for the parts if I were to do the job myself. Would have if I weren't on doctor's orders to cool my jets and had I had my tools. I'll get my tools and "stuff" soon, I am not as fatigued as much (the concussion) this week.

Took the balloon girl out Sunday, all day, for 8 1/2 hours. Usually I try to take her for about three or four hours, she is very fatiguing even when you are at 100%. The care giver manager had told me they were desperately short staffed this weekend and had asked if I could take K for an extended visit to help them out. K mom says K is "happy enough", I think she is the happiest person in the world. To spend time with her is a lesson in joyousness. To watch laugh and smile almost nonstop and to see her run and skip with the exuberance that is equal to none, it;s invigorating and tiring simultaneously. Mind you, one must always be on guard. She can be very demanding. If you are not attending to her as much as she thinks you should be, she will quickly reorient you to her perspective. She will grab me by the chin and turn my head so that I am looking at her. She will pinch, drawing blood, usually on the base of my thumb if she is distressed, she doesn't pull my hair, although sometimes tries, as I have maintained a crew cut length style for some years now, in self defense.

As happy as she is, usually by placing my hand over my mouth to cause my voice to mimic the reverberations of a PA address and stating in a circus ringmaster tone "Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages; Seal lion fans and aficionados" elicits a jumping, skipping, smiling laugh that is an expression of the purest joy. We watch the seal lion show at the Mall several times a week, for several years now, usually from the mall second level, outside the paying grandstand (did I mention I was frugal in a previous post?) but recently we have indulged in bucking up for the grandstand seats. She is as fascinated each and every time as if it were the first time. She recognizes the music that indicates the show is about to begin, I didn't catch on to this for a while, wondering why she started clapping and laughing so hard, but finally, good old dad made the connection, they always play a particular piece just prior to the start.

She can be a handful, once when she was getting tired, l let her lag behind me about 10-15 feet, usually I keep her within arms length of me as she tends to reach out and touch everyone that passes by, but the mall was quiet that day a few months ago, and I was tired of having to motivated her every step. She usually keeps up and grabs my shirt or my watch to maintain contact (unless she is tethered with the balloon ribbon, of course) but this day she was tired and lagging behind. I can usually motivate her to keep up if I just walk ahead a bit and she runs to catch up, but this day she didn't seem to have the energy she normally enjoys, and I was becoming impatient. There appeared to be no one around, so I let her lag. I didn't notice the small elderly lady coming down the escalator as I passed it, the lady passed between K and I and too close to K for her comfort. I heard a squeal and looked back and to my horror saw that K had grabbed the lady's hair as she does when stressed and was pulling quite hard. The lady's daughter appeared on the scene about the time I got to the center of action and started yelling, which of course stressed K even more. K's developmental delay exhibits as being unable to understand negative commands, telling to not walk on the road evokes walking on the road and only if you tell her what you want her to do, "walk on the sidewalk K" does she follow instructions easily, also diverting her by telling her to do something else, rather than something with the undesirable act works as well.

The daughter yelling at K to "let go, let go, let go" was not having the desired effect, in fact it was causing her more stress and I couldn't explain to the people the situation. Fortunately, I finally wrested most of the hair out of K's hand, she did maintain a few strands as a momentary souvenir of the event; humble apologies and thankfully, a stressed but understanding lady and an extremely annoyed daughter let us on our way with no threats of litigation or other redress.

This type of event is rare but is always in the back of my mind when out with K, it is stressful and I probably over compensate by being protective and willing to be vocal to people that are rude and cut between us, usually because they are being inattentive to the father and daughter trying to maneuver hand in hand in a crowd, they being oblivious to the world around them.

No incidents Sunday, we saw the seal lion show, I didn't try to shop, K hates it when you shop, not enough attention to her, we hiked up and down the mall a couple of times, had lunch, watched the skaters at the rink and went on the kiddy train. She loves trains, big or small. The look on her face as we went through the UV lit tunnel withe fluorescent "creatures" was to behold, she has been on the train many time, I quit paying to go with her and go as an aid but really I enjoy it almost as much as she does. To watch the expressions on her face as we enter the darkened tunnel, its amazing. Total absolute emersion, nothing can distract her from staring at the vivid orang and blue and green "creatures" and when we leave the tunnel a laugh, as if to say that was scary but I liked it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Man Bites Dog

One more before I get away to visit my balloon gal for the weekend, well actually I got a call from her care co-ordinator a couple of days ago. They are short staffed this weekend and need K to be cared for tomorrow. He assures me that they are hiring more staff but are in a short term bind right now and if I could take K for an extended time tomorrow it would greatly help. I'll catch the 0630 flight and be there by 10 am and keep her til 6 pm. I don't mind but usually I run out of steam after about 2-3 hours with her, it is intense but I love her a lot. I also really like the group of folks that are providing care to her now, fodder for another blog later. We will probably spend a lot of time just driving around tomorrow, it is one activity that K likes and is not too strenuous. Wish me luck.

"Man Bites Dog"

I was returning from Baker Lake in my Cessna 402, a twin engine, all weather, high speed aircraft (reminiscent of the old, old TV show "Sky King". This was one of the fleet we had based in Yellowknife that I flew when I was "furloughed" from the airline. Furlough is a euphemism for laid-off but seems much more palatable to the professional pilots and management of a big airline. I had gone to work for another charter operator in the Far North, this time I was living "North of 60" (the 60th parallel of latitude). It was the Arctic.

We had a covey (fleet) of several Cessna 185's, a Standard Beaver (piston engine), Turbo Beaver (turbo-prop engine), Twin Otter (large freight hauling twin engine turbo prop) and two "Twin Cessna's" like the on I was flying that day. All but the Twin Cessna's were on floats in the summer time and wheel skis for the rest of the year, there is only about four or five months of ice free water this far north.

I usually flew the Twin Cessna's and occaisonally the 185's because the 'freight walked on", not a nice way to say we mostly hauled passengers in these aircraft, the others were freight haulers and the pilot loaded and unloaded his own aircraft. I was the chief pilot so I got my pick as a rule.

Returning from dropping passengers in Baker Lake (the only fresh water Inuit community in the world, the rest are on the salt water shores of the Arctic Ocean), I had an empty airplane, cruising along the HF radio crackles and snarls as I check in about an hour out of home base, Norm the dispatcher is eager to hear from me as he has a "double up", that means we can catch another charter and everyone gets paid as though the trip was done both ways, legal and a normal but rare occurrence).

He had a passenger to pick up at a fishing lodge that just happened to have a strip that could accommodate the Twin Cessna. The trip had been planned with a 185 on floats but I was about ten minutes away from the lodge when I checked in on the radio and Norm had already figured it would save the 185 trip and hardly be out of my way.

I took the message and proceeded to the lodge strip, I flew low over the camp and waggled my wings, the fishers in camp waved and I flew over to the strip, about 3/4 mile up the hill, landed and waited, and waited and waited, obviously they had not realized I would be landing. This, not being a town, had no official meeting party I guess.

I decided after about half an hour to walk down to camp, have lunch (camps are famous for good lunches and feeding pilots). As I started the short trek I thought to myself - Bear country, best shuffle my feet a bit and whistle, just in case.

I had only got a few hundred feet, got to a blind corner and as I shuffled whistling, in the middle of the road (really just a path in the bush for the pick up, I came upon the the north end of a south bound bear, in the middle of the path and sniffing or eating something. I stopped and reached down to grab a rock, thinking if I threw the rock in the bush beside the bear he (bears are always he unless they have cubs) would be frightened and run off. Stop the presses! As my fingers touched the rock I remember never having read in any newspaper the headline "Man Mauls Bear". I stayed crouched and backed up around the corner and ran like a three year old back to my plane.

Fortunately, not long after I got to the plane, thinking I would have to buzz the camp again, a pick-up with three guides from the camp drove up, all with eyes as wide as saucers, they were an a garbage run to the dump spot with the camps garbage and didn't know I was there. hey saw me and stopped and one said "Did you see the bear" with more than a hint of terror in his voice, I said "Ya". I hopped in the back of the truck and we dumped the garbage at the far end of the strip, there because you don't want the garbage near camp- bears.
There was a bear carcass in the dump. I asked and they told me last week it had come to camp and started "raising hell" so it was shot.

We headed back to camp and as we approached the last turn for camp, a gun shot rang out, as we made the corner, there stood Jerry the camp manger, gun still smoking in hand and a dead bear about 20 feet away from him. He looked up at the pick-up and shaking his head said "The bugger charged at me". I recognized that bear.