In somebody’s hands ?

The ever changing face of the Census sees me on the road again to Grand Junction for yet more
training. Not entirely sure why, but I believe it is to appease someone on the recruiting side to get the
numbers up for a particular phase for which I cannot see myself being used as I’m already
scheduled for further training the following week for the last phase. This last phase could go until
mid July and is the No Response Follow Up, or in other words a lot of knocking on doors for all the
people that didn’t send their forms back in the first time round.

No matter the reasons, I get paid for it, so shut up, sit, look, learn and listen. Another good
opportunity to get some more “clues” for the proposed Rally in August and I can fill in the portion
between Telluride and Ridgway. That will leave the hairy bit from Ouray to Silverton to do on the bike
when the weather is a bit more sociable.

The “Hot Springs” were found last weekend in Rico, no thanks to the locals, not sure why such a
mini facility should be such a closely guarded secret….. perhaps there are some debauched goings
on there?

The mystery hot springs

Yesterday the winds picked up but it was relatively mild but last night they had become the forecast
and promised howling gale. This morning I find we have had yet another dusting of snow…… when
does it ever end? Bloody cold again and the crisp mind numbing wind goes right through you.
Hopefully by departure time the temps will be up a bit and these winds will have abated a little.

Departure time and still very, very windy and now as I drive northbound to Telluride it starts snowing
again! Stop to take pictures of some of the clues as photographic evidence will prevent arguments
come the check in post event. Snowing and Blowing over the Lizard but the temps are around 40 so
it shouldn’t settle. Not much in the way of interesting clue material on the run from Telluride to
Ridgway but I suppose they can have a ride without thinking of the meaning of life.

A lot of wildlife around with Elk grazing anywhere they can find food as the snow line retreats, a few
predators also out looking and birds are plentiful as they sense spring in the mountains is nearly
here. Out of Ridgway and blowing a gale across the long 100 mile open stretch to Grand Junction.

Wildlife a’plenty

Wednesday morning and 40+ Enumerators, some new, sit through another few days of listening.
The Crew Leaders are given the task of doing the training so at least I get a talking part but then like
so many things of the Census nature it all changes. The Crew Leaders are told we have another
task for the next day and a half so …. bring it on !

We have all the data from the Student colleges but now with yet another accelerated time scale we
have to transpose all the information onto the standard questionnaires. I manage to complete my
task of 99 forms from one Hall of Residence and by 1700 my eyes are dot crossing !

Thursday and back to the grindstone and my Hall of Residence today has 187 occupants thirsting for
knowledge. Predictably the task takes all day and by close of play and 8 hours worked the thought of
another 4 hours driving into the setting sun is not on the cards so I elect to take their kind offer of
another night in the hotel and get on the road early Friday morning.

On the road before 0800 and once more the mystery of trying to find a way out of Grand Junction. It
seems they want to keep you here as the only road signs are for the freeway and precious little else.
A third different route is found, not from choice, and at last I’m on the right road for home.

Even more wildlife around this morning with Elk, Deer and a moth eaten Coyote. A quick stop at the
Chocolate factory for some more goodies and a little homecoming present and then plain sailing all
the way in delightful driving conditions on uncluttered roads. Up through Telluride where the snow
has taken on a pink color from all the blowing Arizona dust, only a few unexpected rock falls to
contend with but the tires escaped without hitting anything.

Chocie time!

Pool today and some extensive gardening clean up for tomorrow and then back to another 5 days
in the classroom to learn all about the last of the census phases which might last until August
unless some high priced gnome decides to accelerate this one. Just remember “It’s in Our Hands”
but from what I’m seeing it seems to be mainly in MINE !


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