NORTHERN FIRE RESOURCES


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FAMILY HISTORY

I've been around the oil field and road building all my life as dad built roads as an officer in the army engineers and his civilian career was as a petroleum geologist and professional engineer.

Dad went back to work in the oil fields as a consultant after retiring from his job as Chief Geologist for the Department of Mines and Petroleum Resources and mom joined him as they traveled all over Alberta having adventure rather than a boring retirement. On this particular day I had driven to visit them on a rig and found them both enjoying their retirement years. They kept a small place with a big garden in Calgary and spent their time off visiting grandchildren.


Calgary Family

With my grandmother at her house in Calgary. She had First Nations ancestry.

My Grandpa, Charles Rankin fly fishing at Boom Lake. This is mom's dad.


This is my other grandpa. Dad's dad. He left for battle just months before dad was born. He gave his life for King and country at Vimy Ridge. It was so hard on dad's mom that she died and dad was orphaned when he was only 6.


Dad, Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, with mom and dad's sister on the right.


PEACE RIVER COUNTRY ADVENTURES


At 11 years of age with my brother near Fort St. John. Dad would work out of the Dave Johnson Building at Charlie Lake in the summers. The north Peace was a fun place in the summer. We used to go rabbit hunting, canoeing and fishing. We also spent afternoons picking saskatoon berries on the slopes above the Peace River. Fresh saskatoons with real cream is so good.


My beautiful sister Patricia Carol standing on the banks of the Peace River with her dog, Sheba. Her birthday was Christmas day hence her name. It was so heartbreaking to watch her fade away with M.S. which took her away from us.


Fencing my Dad's land in Dawson Creek using a tracked loader with my older brother. I started doing road work on dad's land in my teens. The neighbor had a small blade cat bulldozer, a wheel hoe and a dump truck that I learned on.


A Horse And His Boy

"Some friends leave footprints in your heart." Eleanor Roosevelt.

"God gave us horses so we could fly without wings." unknown author.

"The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse." General Grant of the American Civil War.

I'm about 6 or so in this picture. Probably my first ride. Dad would take me riding and I got a love for horses from him.

This is my first horse, Wendy. A registered Arab/Thoroughbred cross. She was such a good horse and loved to gallop tirelessly over the fields and chase moose up in the woods on Bear Mountain. Back then I could ride all day on the mountain and rarely see another person. It was just moose trails and seismic lines.

My mountain horse, Big Jake, a Percheron/Thoroughbred cross. A one in a million horse. Fearless of bears. Trained for harness, saddle and to shoot off of. I haven't found a horse like him since.


Move to Mountain Country

When the oilfields and the construction got slow around Dawson Creek I went to work in the mines.

Building a road with a D10N at a mine near Tumbler Ridge. I liked sculpting on a large scale.

After I ran cat for a few years I started running this large track hoe. Weight- 350 tons, Cummins V-16 twin turbo diesel engine rated at 1,600 horsepower. Bucket capacity was 17 yards for a rock bucket.

Then I went onto this P&H 2100 BLE electric cable shovel. This had a 21 yard rock bucket. That's like two gravel trucks worth of boulders in each bucket.


Back in the Oilfields


When I returned back into the oilfields I went driving low bed.


This is an off-highway load on winter roads. That is a little 6 axle lowbed straining under the weight of a D8R bulldozer. Good traction with 30,000 kg. on the drive axles!


Working in winter is challenging and fun.


I drove this particular truck off the lot brand new and it was my home on wheels.


Here I am pulling a legal 64,000 kg. gross weight load on 7 axles onto the Alaska Highway near Pink Mountain. After I drove lowbed I went into supervision, first as a dispatcher and then back in the field doing lease and road building. Then I went to Jedney to do the road maintenance supervision in that Gas field for three years.


Road Maintenance Supervisor

On the job as road construction/maintenance supervisor. I had a crew with 4 graders working on the roads year round. I also had hoes, cats and water trucks as needed. I was getting the smaller road construction jobs and projects on the side along with the daily road work. That is the Laprise 100 man camp behind me where I was based most of the time from 1999 to 2009.


Time Off

Hiking along the Sikanni Chief River after a long day in the field. It was good fly fishing for grayling in the long summer evenings. This is a really wild river, inaccessible except by hiking down very steep slopes. I loved it there. One time I was hiking back up from the river and heard a loud woof behind me. A bear was on my trail but he was hidden in the bush so I didn't see him that time.


Some photos from hiking in the field. Grizzlies are the North American equivalent of the African Lion. Majestic, powerful predators.


This is my favorite way to spend a day off in the Rockies. I prefer Telemark skis over regular downhill gear because of the freedom it gives. Climbing is a great workout and almost as much fun as carving turns.


Hiking up on Cougar Cliffs. This was November, 2015 and winter was late arriving.

This is Charlie Lake at sunset.


Email me at: northernfireresources@gmail.com Thank you for visiting. Ken Cosburn

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