Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What a Great Day!

What a great day's work on Wednesday, our last day volunteering at White River Wildlife Area, Tygh Valley, Oregon. We both got practice in driving and using the fork lift.

First on the schedule was repositioning the large flower box near our host site. The large wooden box sat on three log slices. They had begun to settle into the dirt and rot, so the box was slowing tipping. Using the fork lift, John picked up one end of the box, then we removed two of the log slices and replaced them with large bricks. He then backed up, moved to the left and picked up the other end. Now the flower box again sits level and isn't in apparent danger of falling over.

Next we used the fork lift to move four large Oregon Cherry Producer orchard boxes. The 4 ft by 5 ft wooden boxes are lined with heavy plastic. We moved the boxes, one at a time, to an area behind the area headquarters where trash is burned and spare items are stored. They will be used to hold used wire—mainly from fences—until there is enough so the scrap metal dealer will come pick it up. We drilled six holes in the bottom of each box so they won't fill up with water when it rains or snows.

John had used the fork lift here once before. He is getting very experienced. Today was my first attempt. I was amazed at how easy it was to learn how to operate the machinery.

Josh, the area manager, has two rat terriers, Obie and Mandy. These two cute little dogs love to ride in the Polaris six-wheeler, no matter who is driving. Whenever they hear it start up, they run out to catch a ride.

When we stop for some reason, they may jump off and look for squirrels and diggers and mice, or they may sit there patiently, waiting for us to drive off again. What fun. They really seem to enjoy life here.

The day ended with a bar-b-cue for us, organized by the staff. It was good food, especially the homemade blackberry pie, made from berries that grow here in the wildlife area.

We have finished our two month commitment here, working three days each week. They ask that we work a total of 24 hours a week for our site—that means 12 hours each. The work has been interesting and we have developed new skills. It has been a real learning experience. We won't leave White River until Monday, when the Labor Day campers are headed back home.

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