Thursday, November 10, 2016

Down Vest

After I started working for the USGS in Eugene, Oregon I was assigned the upper Willamette River basin field trip for a year (1978-79) and then moved to the McKenzie River basin field trip the following year.

During the winter working in the upper McKenzie River, which overall was my favorite field trip of the three for field technicians (the Oregon coast trip being the third), each taking 7-8 working days with almost all being overnight for the week staying in small towns.

I loved the McKenzie River field trip because for most of the year you worked alone often seeing no one else outside of those you saw at breakfast or dinner if you went to a restaurant. The McKenzie River trip had only two restaurants for dinner.

I like the trip because I (other technicians and/or I) stayed at one motel which kept a room open for us which had an common open area with a small kitchen. We were often the only guests in the winter so the room was next to the common room.

One day driving back to the motel I saw a bundle in the middle of the highway, and since I was the only truck for hours on that stretch of the road it wasn't hard just to stop and see what it was. It turned out to be this North Face down vest.

The only other folks working up there were the US Forest Service and the local utility company for the reservoirs and power station feeding the Eugene-Springfield area. It's a size medium and fit me, so I kept and used it all these years.

The patch is over a tear I got one day from a branch. I lost the down out of that section but someone at the office brought me a ziplock bag of down and I bought a iron-on patch kit to repair it. It's interesting to see how little down they put in new coats, like the jacker for my North Face GoreTex rain coat.

This coat has so much down it fluffs up 2-3 times larger than the new coats so only gets worn on the coldest, non-rainy days here, but still after over 35+ years it's still keeping bodies warm.

No comments:

Post a Comment