Smokejumpers!

Smoke jumpers!
Between Twisp and Winthrop is the very first Smokejumper Base in the United States. We rode by to see if this elite group of skydiving firefighters were giving tours. We were in luck! Scott, a second year Smokejumper, with 11 years of firefighting experience, was happy to show us around the base.


We got to see some of the Smokejumpers packing the parachutes they’ll use when they jump out of planes to fight fires. Scott explained that they all pack each other’s parachutes.


The food the Smokejumpers bring in their kit (it’s delivered by food drop) was quite familiar!


My favourite part was the sewing machine. It’s an industrial Pfaff. All the equipment, uniforms, bags and parachutes are made by the Smokejumpers themselves, right here on the base. Derek and I have a Pfaff too. It was a wedding present from Granda Pat and we use it for everything from making quilts to repairing gear. In the old days when we had more time than money, Derek, inspired by his amazing mom, used to make outdoor gear for us too. His Goretex mitt covers lasted a good 15 years. 


Jasper’s favourite part of the tour was seeing one of the vintage parachutes that the guys from WWII’s Easy Company that he read about in The Band of Brothers used.

Anna Sierra says she liked meeting real Smokejumpers best of all.

Having ridden through areas devastated by forest fires both recent and a few years old, it was quite something to hear about fighting fires from Scott.

We left inspired by these brave souls and amazed at yet another awesome stop on our journey.

Happy trails!

Kathleen

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4 thoughts on “Smokejumpers!

  1. Kathleen you really or rather I’d love it if you wrote a book about this amazing adventure. Your posts are inspiring Alex and Hayleigh to greater and grander adventures. I may just get my multi day trip out of them yet this summer.

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      1. I truly hope our paths will cross again sooner rather than later. I’m really interested in reading about how all 4 of you will adapt back into the day to day life when you get home to Ottawa.
        When I’ve returned from long canoe and kayak trips it’s always been a difficult challenge to step back into the “civilized routine “.

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      2. Thanks Bill! Yes, that’s going to be a big transition for all of us. I know our house will feel ridiculously big and it will also feel like we have a lot of stuff – even though we did a big purge before leaving! We’re all so excited to see friends, family and our awesome neighbours though.

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