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Flipping pages of a book  

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Interview 52:07 - 1:01:33 Play 52:07 - More
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Karsten Heuer  

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Banff National Park; Bear proofing  

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Environmental Recording 1:50:45 - 1:52:36 Play 1:50:45 - More
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NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
27 Sep 1998

    Geography
  • Canada
    Alberta
    Locality
  • Banff National Park; Dormer Pass
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 51.44863   -115.5745
    Recording TimeCode
  • :03 - 1:06:16
    Geography
  • Canada
    Alberta
    Locality
  • Banff National Park; Dormer River meadows
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 51.481   -115.558
    Recording TimeCode
  • 1:06:21 - 2:03:54
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 30
  • Sennheiser MKH 40
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=2: 1=L, 2=R; Decoded MS Stereo

Y2Y DAT #6
recording in ms
date/time: Sunday, Sept. 27. 9:33 a.m.
location: a cabin in Dormer

ambi 1:31 - 2:42
very faint stream.

Engineer tribute 2:42
I¿m looking around me right now, and I¿ve got to tell you something. I don¿t remember the last time I looked at something in such total awe. The whales maybe, but this is something quite incredible. Mountains all around you that just dwarf you. History of time on this planet being sculpted indelibly in these mountains. It¿s really quite amazing. This is a stop-down. 3:34

ambi 4:13 - 5:05
ambience from inside the cabin. No indistinguishable sounds, just a cozy silence.

ambi 5:29 - 5:32
sounds of flipping the pages of the Dormer cabin logbook.

AC 5:40
The first entry is July 17, 1982

ambi 5:47 - 6:03
more sounds of flipping the pages of the Dormer cabin logbook.

ambi 6:30 - 10:50
ambience from inside the cabin. Opening a window. Opening and closing the oven (several tries). Stoking the fire. Opening and closing the oven again. (intermittent talking throughout segment).

Burt Dyck [BD] 12:19 - 20:56
reads through some of the logbook entries.

ambi 25:23 - 25:36
the sound of Perky opening the door and walking in. Great sound of boots on the wood floor.

Perky [P] 26:22
July 20, 1992. ? patrol from Stony Creek, beautiful summer day. 70+ on Dormer¿s summit. 20/6 ratio adult to kid goats on the blackshell. Lots of bears hiding around the cabin. Fishing good. Oft windy. Keith Everts (?) 26:44

P 27:34
August 1, 1991. ? barrier in a helluva downpour. No time for lunch. Four hours over the short cut. Clear once in a while. Nice evening of escargot and scotch, cribbage, the competition continues. Doug Dalebred and Steven Martin. 27:50

ambi 28:04 - 28:17
the sound of pages flipping while they¿re looking for another journal segment for Perky to read. Great ¿page¿ ambience.

P 29:30
September 21, 1984. In late from four mile bridge. 30 cm of fresh snow in the pass. Windy. Poor visibility. (29:38) 12 rams on south side of the pass. 10 rams above the old cabin. Snowing all day. Happy Equinox. September 22. Still snowing. Visibility nil. September 23. Still snowing. About 25 cm at the cabin. Hike up the valley. 40 sheep, 6 goats on the south slopes of Mount Manathee (?). Off to Banff tomorrow, hopefully. Doug Harvey.
30:03

P 30:25
September 21, 1984. In late from four mile bridge. Bridge out. 30 cm of snow in the pass. Windy. Poor visibility.
30:34

ambi 30:47 - 30:58
more sounds of loosed pages being flipped.

P 32:35
November 18, 1995. Blew in from barrier in late afternoon shanuck Old elk tracks and deer tracks in the valley. Five sheep above the cabin. To the corners (?) in the a.m. to meet Frank Burstrum (?). 20 cm of snow on the ground. Miles of blue sky above. Karsten Heuer. 32:55

P 33:32
September 17, 1995. In from Stony Creek. First time I¿ve ever been over Dormer Pass and didn¿t see any wildlife. Weather getting cold. Oft windy tomorrow. 8 inches of fresh

snow this morning, still snowing moderately. Could be a wet ride. Frank Burstrum. 33:52

ambi 35:24 - 36:03
sweeping the cabin sounds.

37:06 - 40:45
people packing up the horses and talking. Talking about what people pack on their horses. Perky does most of the talking. Someone mentions that packing competitions in the rodeos. Perky elaborates on it (he¿s never won, though).

ambi 41:16 - 41:30
the tightening of straps and the packing of the saddles.

ambi 44:45 - 46:57
trickling water into a basin. Followed by faint sounds of what seems like someone packing.

ambi 47:13 - 49:44
heavy sounds of packing saddle bags and moving stuff around. There¿s a cough and quiet talking and a definite sense of people in the scene.

ambi 50:45 - 51:05
mopping up the floors. The sound of the mop and the ringing out of the water.

AC 52:08
tell me about the nail pads.

Karsten Heuer [KH] 52:25
The nail pads, which are below all the windows and in front of the doors both here and down at the tack shed, are nail pads to prevent bears from trying to break in. And so simply what¿s been done is these planks or doors or shutters have had nails driven through them so the pointy side is out, and for instance on the shutters you probably have about 50 pointing nails there, and hopefully that will be enough of a barrier from bears trying to break in. And actually down on the tack shed you can see that the parts around the door have been ripped off this year in one piece. You can actually go down there and see the bite marks where the bear has tried to break in. It¿s been a pretty tough fall for the bears around here because there¿s a berry crop failure and so they¿re definitely on the move, and more motivated than most years to try and find alternate food sources. And I¿m sure they can smell the oats down in the tack shed there, and I¿m sure they can smell the odd bit of human food coming out of the

cabin here. So, that¿s their motivation and those bear pads are there to try and de-motivate them.

AC 53:29
I can¿t imagine anything going through that, I mean those are, there is, in front of that window, there are 3 2x6s set side by side and there are at least 50 really big nails driven so they¿re sticking out 2 or 3 inches up above the board, pointy side up.

KH 53:48
They are a good dissuader for bears, but they still will try and come in¿you can never really bear-proof anything, I think that¿s an important lesson to learn.

AC 54:07
With the season being difficult for bears are you at all nervous about being on the trail by yourself?

KH 54:12
I have been, definitely. Yeah, I¿m taking more precautions than ever, because they are on the move and there have been a number of bear maulings in the Rockies this year, the Canadian Rockies, and they have been fatal. And actually, a fatal one happened 2 miles from where I was camped, the night I was camped in that same valley. So it was a pretty close call, I guess, distance-wise, not situation-wise. And, uh, so I¿ve definitely been taking extra precautions. I¿ve had to dodge a few valleys that were on my route, that I couldn¿t go through because there were bear closures because of mauling and lots of bear activity.

AC 54:48
What kinds of other things do you do to try and keep safe?

KH
It¿s less of an issue with seven of us on horseback¿.I¿m calling out a lot¿.constantly conscious of wind direction. I carry bear spray which would be a last line of defense if something did happen. I¿m generally alert of recent bear signs¿.just trying to minimize the time I spend in those areas. And also when I choose a campsite, I choose a site that¿s away from known bear foods¿and also, for instance, where they may have ripped open dead logs to get ants or grubs, or turned over rocks. I¿d stay away from those areas as well.

AC 56:03
Do you hang your food? You have all dried food, I don¿t know if your food has any scent.

KH 56:08
It does have scent still, yeah. I carry cheese and all the dried food has scent as well. Yeah, I hang it every night. And what I do, what I have is about a 50 foot rope, just a thin rope, and tie a rock on one end¿.the intention is to minimize scent. 56:48

AC 56:58
I just want to go over our route here.

KH 57:03
ah, in Canada it¿s route (pronounces it ¿root¿, followed by laughter)

AC 57:05
Route! (pronounces it the way KH said it). sorry, route. I didn¿t want to give a plug there for your leather company. Ah, so, see here¿s¿actually, if you could draw out on here where we¿ve been so far.

KH 57:25
We started at¿and we came up this pass here¿this is where we spent the first night¿and yesterday we went up Stony Creek here¿and now we¿re right on the Dormer River here. (this sounds really ¿mumbly¿, maybe not useable)

AC 58:00
You said that we were going to go the same distance yesterday that we¿d gone the first day, but look at the size of that line. Oh my.

KH
answers and briefly talks about their path for that day. And I was hoping what we could do, that shouldn¿t take too long¿maybe four hours, and I was hoping what we could do is leave the horses there and maybe stretch our legs and walk up to this area here which is very open. And there are some wolf dens¿area has a number of birds of prey.

AC 59:11
This area that we¿re looking at here. Just roughly, how many miles is it from where we started to where we¿re going tomorrow, or rather, later today?

KH 59:24
Today? That¿ll be about 60 km total distance. Transfer that to miles that will be about 40-45 miles.

AC 59:34
And this whole area here is, I guess¿400 or 500 square miles here?

KH 59:46
Well, actually, when I worked here as a park warden, I was assigned a district¿that¿s 1000 square km.

AC 1:00:17
Do you know all that area? Do you know every pass, every creek?

KH 1:00:20
Every pass, yes definitely, but not every square inch. It takes a long time to know that much country. And there's little drainages even within there. Even though I was in the district for two whole six month sections, there¿s places in there I¿ve always wanted to get to and still have not.

AC 1:00:45
There¿s a glacier in this park, look at that.

KH 1:00:53
responds with an elaborate answer on glaciers and where they¿re situated in park¿.

AC 1:02:46 -- standup
It¿s 11 o¿clock, Sunday morning. This is the third day of our expedition. We¿re at Dormer cabin, we¿re setting out for a place called the Panther River. It¿s going to be about a four hour ride. This day is like yesterday and not at all like the day before that. Blue sky above, a couple of feathery clouds, warm, sunny, absolutely beautiful. The horses are saddled and ready, and I guess we are to, so off we go.

ambi 1:04:14 - 1:06:02
Perky walking toward and then mounting a horse. You can hear his spurs, the shuffling of saddle bags and a horse¿s sigh. Then there are a series of other ¿mount up¿ noises.

ambi 1:06:43 - 1:10:00
Traveling sounds. Two horses sigh (great horse sounds). You can hear the hooves on the trail and small rocks and dirt falling away from the path.

ambi 1:10:00 - 1:10:45
More traveling sounds, except that now you can hear a river in the background getting louder as they approach it. You can hear horses. Conversation in background.

AC 1:10:45
What do you do about crossing rivers like these when you¿re on foot?

KH 1:10:49
Take my shoes off.

ambi 1:10:50 - 1:14:57
Strong river sounds. You can hear the horses and people crossing the river. (really good sound). The sound fades into the distance once they reach the other side and continue their journey. Trail sounds resume.

ambi 1:14:58 - 1:15:00
A loud neighing of a horse. (another great horse sound).

ambi 1:16:50 - 1:20:50
a series of horse passes on a shale pass.

ambi 1:23:40 - 1:25:48
the sound of horses walking and in the background you hear a stream that gets louder as the team approaches it.

ambi 1:25:48 - 1:29:45
sounds of horses walking and intermittent talking in the background.

ambi 1:30:01 - 1:30:12
water sounds combined with horse movements.

ambi 1:31:17 - 1:35:50
horses on loose gravel. Toward the end of the segment you can hear a running stream in the background.

ambi 1:35:50 - 1:36:35
strong running water sounds that fade out as horses get further away.

ambi 1:36:35 - 1:37:18
horses walking on trail. You can hear the occasional horse snort.

AC 1:38:10
Karsten, just tell us where we are¿

KH 1:38:18
Yeah, we¿re in riverside meadows of the Dormer river¿goes on to talk about why these riverside meadows exist¿four or five km from Dormer cabin¿talks about where they¿re going that day¿

¿short discussion ensues between AC and KH about where they¿re going and how many km it is to get there. 1:39:48

ambi 1:40:36 - 1:41:53
horses walking again. sound of walking on grass.

ambi 1:42:03 - 1:44:57
a little more of horses walking on shale. A few more horse sighs.

ambi 1:46:46 - 1:50:02
a little sequence of running water and trickling water through different basins as the horses walk along the trail. Nice sound.

ambi 1:50:39 - 1:56:25
goes through a series of takes on sounds of moving water. sounds like a running stream.

ambi 1:56:26 - 2:01:36
variety of wildly rushing river sound. gives you a sense of the river.

ambi 2:02:17 - 2:03:40
walking across the rocks. And then some more river sounds.

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