Let's get this out of the way. I don't love winter. I don't have much "r value" as one of my friends likes to call it, and I dread being cold. I prefer sunshine, hiking trails, and wearing shorts to being bundled up, slippery roads, and shoveling snow.
This is the wildland firefighter's dilemma, if you're like me. Summer is the busy time, when you can make money for travel or just life. But summer is fleeting, and when you work for weeks at a time without days off, it slips away from you. You notice days getting shorter and colder temperatures at night. There's still some time left, but not a lot.
I haven't gone on many hikes this summer, or taken my kayak out more than a couple times. I wear long pants and boots in the 100 degree heat. I miss my non-fire friends.
But it could be worse. I'm outside every day. I get to fly over (and land in) Glacier National Park in a helicopter. I help save people and their property from fire. And save up for my next trip (where should I go?)
When I fly over hiking trails and lakes, I see you down there, in your tank tops and on your rafts, enjoying summer like normal people. Sometimes I wish I were there too, but I chose this path years ago. Then I think of the fire brothers and sisters I feel so close to and the amazing things I have seen and done, and it's ok. But enjoy your time out there, people! We'll be up there in the sky looking out for you.