October 2017 - HDD Inspection Part 2 then Brutally Sick till Halloween

The first half of October I was still on site working away as an HDD inspector.  Got the hell out of there after 42 days total and saw Canadian Legend Matt Minglewood in GP on my way home.  Back in Calgary to recover, but not really as I contracted a brutal fever for most of the last 2 weeks of the month. Brutal!

The Life of Brad "near death" flu...

HDD Inspection Part 2 as the project did not finish until mid October.  In all we were about 6 days over on the schedule and a second HDD rig had to be added to the Exit in order to help the Entry rig get the bit to surface.  Which meant that I had to leave my Entry side 1.5 hours before shift start in order to permit the Exit Rig. Long dark nights with over 300 km driving in my now 14 hour shift.

All that pipe should be in the ground!

Full moon fever

Love these mornings going to town
every 2 weeks for groceries

Taylor Gas Plant in the distance

Oh shit, do I have winter tyres?

Near the end of the HDD job I had to do 3 hour round trips to the Exit side well into the bush. This consisted of gravel and cattle filled roads in the dark.  And longer shifts because of the drive.  

Sunset Road

220 Rig on the Exit side

Poor planning Bodyjob with Pup.
Driver drove in thinking there was a
turn around spot, but no.

So...the hoe had to drag the back end of the Pup around
the rig.  Tight site!

I got my eyes on you!

This deer stayed in my highlights for 2 km!

Sunset Road

Check out the Flare Stack going off in the middle of the night at Septimus Plant.  What a sight.

Septimus Plant

View from Sunset Road

Incredible Sunrises

Septimus Valley

And the bit finally made it 1700+ m later

A sweet sunrise knowing the end
was near.

Final night on the Exit side as we pulled the product pipe

On Entry side.  Done!
Ready for the pipeline crew.

I'm done, this video truly demonstrates my joy that the job was done and I was heading home.  Uncontainable happiness!

What views, I'll miss them.

One night stop in Grande Prairie to have a beer and good meal and by chance watch a Canadian Legend - Matt Minglewood who was great.  Blues / country I suppose.  I almost didn't see the show as the cover was $26! for a guy I never heard of.  In the end it was well worth it.

Oh Yeah, 42 days without is
long enough my love.

Better than Fred's bar in downtown GP

Matt Minglewood
Sick as a dog until Halloween...

Another Garth and Jenny Halloween Party.  As always great costumes, food, and this year a Magic Show. Plus I hung out in the Crawler Camper most of the night at the back of the yard which is so cool and cosy. 
Family pumpkin carve.
Mine, Derek's, Kate/Bonny's

Awesome! Brain salsa too!

Yay, 18 C on Halloween weekend, wtf.  Very warm.

Pete the Cornel and Pablo Escobar

Other Stuff

Tireless vehicles look so broken

Do it yourself tire balancing.

Matt likes Turbo.  If you take him off
he cries. Took me a few tries to leave.

Yet another sign of victimisation. Buying a coke with money
you don't even have.  It's up to us to

September 2017 - HDD Inspector to make that dollar ya'll.

In September I bit my lip and accepted a chance to go to the field and Inspect Horizontal Directional Drilling. Working nights for all of September! Got to make a few bucks this year.

The sunsetting on my time in Calgary.
Off to the field.
For September I took an opportunity to do some field inspection for Horizontal Directional Drilling which is the technical work that I have been branching in to as a Engineer designing Trenchless Pipeline crossing primarily under rivers.  Typically the night guy on the 24 hour drilling schedule is the engineer so they can do calculations and forecasting while the day inspector does more logistics and correspondence with the mother ships in Calgary. So...nights it was.

For this project we would be drilling a pilot hole of 12 inches and pulling an 8 inch product line back through for our client's field just South of Fort St. John, BC.  Total length of 1734 m which is pretty damn long and scheduled for 33 days. Let's see how it goes...

All packed up and ready to head North.  Check out those Ridgeline features.

"Crush" loaded up for the trip

Day 1 about 700 km from Calgary to Grande Prairie, Alberta.  Lots of cops and a quick stop in the Town of Fox Creek where I lived 6 months when I was 3 years old.  Still got a few scars on the face from my days with my red "harley" tricycle, wooo!

That reminds me I need some new tires.

Long straights

Speed trap 2 or 3?

Speed trap 4 or 5?

My old backyard, Fox Creek

The old house in Fox Creek

I really didn't remember this place

And limited cell service.

Day 2 - Tried to sleep until 3pm at my hotel in hopes of being ready for Night shift with a smooth shave. Of course Housekeeping did not get the 3 messages I left the Front Desk.  urghhhhh.

Holy shit, am I getting close to Alaska?


Dawson Creek, just over the Alberta / BC border

Safe passing Ass!

Rush hour traffic on the Alaskan highway...I don't believe it.

Rush hour on the Alaska Highway

"Oh man, am I getting close?" 

I can't see shit

From Highway 97 (Alaska highway) it's a 13 km dirt/gravel stretch of "Radio Control" road to the HDD rig and Drill site.

Almost there!

Rig getting set up.

Welcome to the night

20 degree entry angle, that's pretty big, trust me

My Wellsite Shack tour.

Big as my apartments in Argentina

After a few weeks it was time to go for groceries in Fort St. John which is about 35 minutes away. A bit tricky to head to town after night shift driving into the blasting morning sun.  I've included some photos from the end of the month on my second trip to FSJ as well.

Trying to keep the trip short so I
could get home and to bed.
Walmart, Farmer's Market, No Frills

Boom! from the blasting sun.

Taylor, BC off the Peace River

Wild steel bridge

Gorgeous valley

Towards Taylor again

Fall colours, amazing

Back to site and bed and then to work 7pm to 7am.
Pounding Casing 
Augering out the casing and pounding some more

Clay plug

Welding more casing, 40 m total

Tricon drill bit same as they use
in Down hole drilling of wells.

Putting the bit in to the casing.

Drilling away, 1734 m to go...

Mud fluid that helps clean and maintain the hole
Viscosity test.

Mud weight test

Mud solids taken out of the fluid
by the centrifuges
Reminds me a vietnam movies

Nice full moon

The crew washing uniforms with a pressure washer

Lovely morning coming

Nice evening sunset and colours of Fall.

Wow, wow

A little rain makes a mess.

Frac walking plan

Dry enough to go for a Frac Walk?

Yep, spending $3,000,000 to cross a 1 m stream.

Climbing up the steep bank
Other Stuff

Enlisted Chris to help with the GI Joe

Sweet facial hair

Multiples of Cobra

Lots of multiples of cobra

Who's this guy?

Oh shit, Humpty dumpty?

NBA players making too much money
Make shift plates by the HDD crew

Mud sample, but yes could be a turd