Well, the bugs are out in force up here! Good planters put the little parasites out of their mind, but there were definitely a few bug-related flip-outs from the the rookie ranks. Other challenges this week: multiple block close-outs, soaring temperatures and humidity, and throwing together a last minute musical. That's right, you heard me. Intrigued? Read on!

Bus Tip

Well, let's get this little doozie out of the way first. Now I'm not going to dwell on who backed what up into where. The point is that logging road shoulders are simply too inconsistent to be trusted! Two tow cables and a metal chain later and we were back in business.

My bus looks a bit askew.

Cache Chaos

That is quite possibly the messiest and most disorganized cache I've ever seen! Stack those bins and boxes neatly and get that tarp over them! Seriously folks, it looked like the cache derailed or something....

Can a crew boss take pictures and yell at the same time? You bet he can!

Coolant Spurt

Imagine a twelve foot high spurt of seering hot green ooze eminating from your only means of getting back to camp 50 km away. Imagine it sucking! Fortunately the hose that burst was only for heating the bus and was easily isolated by turning off some valves. Resulting down time? Approximately 30 minutes.

It's hard to see, but the spurt of coolant was really impressive!

Bug Bit

Now how about some bugs? Poor van Damm was close to getting the nickname "Swiss Cheese" after this particular episode.

Feeling bush crazy yet?!?

Five Blisters

Pushing hard for those those extra trees means more money in your pocket at the end of the day. The hand you stick in that pocket to get that extra money might be a bit beat up, however.

Dishpan hands suddenly don't seem so bad.

Beat by the Heat

Shannon almost made it to the water gott, but the heat got him on the way. Heavy humidity coupled with intense afternoon sunshine made planting conditions uncomfortable to outright dangerous.

Drink lots of water or you'll get dehydrated.

Bus Clouds

The heat and humidity built up huge thunderclouds all around us. We yearned for them to burst and pour down a cooling rain! But, teases that they were, the clouds skirted around our block, leaving a doughtnut hole of sunshine surrounded by rain and lightning.

The clouds bring little but false hope to our crew.

Chico Down

At least the adjacent thunder storms brought strong winds to the block, which helped to relieve us to some extent. Unfortunately when the wind intensified it started to bring down chicos (standing dead trees in the block), making planting hazardous in their vicinity. This chico went down about a hundred feet from a planter, giving him quite a scare.

Always make sure you identify the overhead hazards in the area before you start planting!

At the beginning of the week Krazy Katie managed to crash her car on her way home for the week. She had intended on seeing her boyfriend's graduation and they had tickets to Lord of the Rings (the musical). With her car wrecked, however, poor Katie was obliged to stay in camp and seemed awfully down about missing out on all her plans. So, to make a long story short, the crew decided to perform our own version of Lord of the Rings in musical form to try to cheer her up. Tom and Alex set out to write out lines to familiar tunes on the block, and clandestine rehersals were held on the bus in the evenings. While hardly a Broadway production, I'm very impressed with how well it all came together!

Musical Cast

The cast of "Lord of the Rings: The Musical" with Krazy Katie in the centre.

Download the complete script of Lord of the Rings: The Musical right HERE.

WATCH a compilation video of the highlights of the musical by downloading THIS (approx 16 MB).

Treeplanting Olympics

The second annual treeplanting olympics featured such events as tug-of-war, shovel tossing, speed planting and shovel-pogo-sticking. Unfortunately it was too dark to photograph most of the events but rest assured that all involved had a roaring good time.

The first crew tugged over the lines gets fire suppression equipment tested on them.

Wow, what a crazy week! Stay tuned for future zaniness....