Sunday, March 25, 2007

Northeastern Wyoming

I have not done much of anything the past couple of weeks due to work, and being a little sick. So I thought that I would post some pictures of Gillette and the surrounding area. Most of these were taken in December 2006 and January 2007.

My first picture is some of the development in town. There are seven or eight areas of town just like this. I don't know who can afford to build them because even moderate size homes cost $400K-$600k. The main reason is the labor shortage. Where in most markets construction labor starts at about $9, here it is difficult to get anyone for under $15. The mines still need to fill hundreds of positions, and they start paying at near $20. Then there are all the mine contractors. While their wages start lower, they still pay very well. My manager built a home last year and had people driving by their house trying to hire away their contractors.

Next is picture of I-90. Why a freeway? Well I took it while driving, please don't tell on me, and it is a pretty good visual of what the country looks like. Also I have not yet taken any more pictures of the immediate area. The biggest landscape feature is the lack of trees.

Here is one of the road out of Casper. There are some great sunsets up here. Sunrise is also impressive.
This is from the highway between Casper and Gillette. I took this on January 20, 2007 the night I moved in. I stopped up on a hill and left my car running but out of habit locked the door. Luckily I found a spare key in the moving boxes packed in the Suburban that Jon was driving. There were a tense few moments when I thought I may be stuck fifty miles from any city no cell-phone service and running car.

All of the above are from the mountains West of Sheridan. This is an incredibly beautiful area. The road winds its way up from the valley climbing three thousand feet in about 12 miles.

Sunset in Bozeman Montana.

I decided to close with some pictures of homes. The first is from a house in Montana that I really like. It has a great location. It is just a couple of miles from a river and very near the mountains. The design is pretty good too. As some of you may already know this is Jacqui's house. She has a great location in Spearfish SD. I believe that they have eleven acres of land. Right out the front door they have a great view of the country side. I should have taken some pictures of the back yard, and inside. They are beautiful. There are huge windows looking out of the dining area and family room. A twenty foot high fireplace is the main feature of the living area.

I hope that you all are doing well. Next week I will be in Denver for two days of training. On Saturday I have my Wyoming State Adjuster's Exam in Casper. I hope it goes well. I have been doing a lot of studying, but I still don't feel very confident. I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Since I moved to Gillette a few weeks ago some pictures and and account of my doings is in order. Work officially started on January 22, 2007, but I really have not done work until today. I got my first claim this morning, and had an estimate done by noon. The previous seven weeks have all been training. I completed two two-week sessions training in Phoenix, as well as three weeks doing online courses in the office. The training has almost been a two month vacation. While there have been tests and certifications the training has not been that intense.

While in Phoenix it was nice to have someone make my bead, prepare my breakfast, take care of all the cleaning, and have time to sit in a hot-tub. This time round I did take some time to do a little hiking. There is a park just across the street from the training center full of great hiking and biking trails. I was surprised to also find an area with mountain goats on it. It was surprising to find goats essentially in the middle of the city. The area was fenced off, and they must feed and water the goats since there is not really nothing there but rock. That is kind of my opinion of Phoenix. Nothing there but rock, and then this crazy city that certainly does not belong. I wonder why a city like Phoenix grows, yet others don't.

Well, it is nice to be home. I like Gillette, even though my apartment stinks. When I got home late Friday night I opened my door the the smell of cigarette smoke and mildew. I was greeted by a leaky water heater. The carpet in the extra room was completely soaked. It really smells terrible. It turns out that a hole rusted through my water heater and the drain that is supposed to prevent a flood was plugged up. Amazingly the people downstairs did not get any water. Still it is just drying out tonight and getting rid of the mildew may require replacing the carpet.

Luckily I have a pretty good apartment owner so replacement of the water heater was quick, and the carpet should be taken care of soon. The rest of the post will just be some pictures of things I have done.


Me in the batting cages. If you look close you will notice that I am hitting a softball. The baseballs were to fast to photograph well.

The only picture of me in class. As far as I know I am the only one to take a picture in class. Perhaps I will take a picture of our Casualty class picture.

Here is the goat. I had to take the picture facing the sun so I only got the silhouette.

Picture of the Training Center. It is the white building.

Flying over Colorado

Moving in with Jon and Kanien. I could not have done it without their help.

Labels: , , ,