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"Nothing great is achieved without suffering."
ALYESKA CAMP: On the second morning the storm abated and it was possible to pry the tent and packs out of the ice and snow, load up and ski out of the canyon to the Alyeska camp on the far side of Galbraith Lake. The pipeline camp is one of 21 that will serve as bases for the 13,000 construction men who will be employed once work begins. At this time Galbraith Lake was an advance outpost being held by 20 or so maintenance men, surveyors, helicopter mechanics and pilots who were waiting for the construction offensive. The camp boss was Ted, a hard, feisty, bandy-legged ex-saddle bronc rider from Montana. Ted was moderately hospitable, considering that he is moderately suspicious of stragglers from the Great Outdoors.
" Jesus Christ. What the——have you been doing out in those miserable badlands. I ought to leave you out there, let you freeze some more so you can keep on enjoying nature. That's what you'd like, isn't it? You're some of those eachologists, aren't you?"
"I'm a spy. I go around and do loyalty checks in crummy places like this."
"——eachologists. You want us to feed you and keep you warm and then you'll go off and tell everyone what s.o.b.s we are. How long you going to hang around here?"
"Until Shanahan picks us up."
"Then we're going to have you for a while. Even the Falcon can't get in in this weather. Go find the cook and tell him to give you a room and put you on the chow list. Hey, Lash, how about it. We're going to have us a couple of those hippie eachologists to play with. You guys married or what?"
In fact, Ted was not an s.o.b. He was a pugnacious, quick man with some fairly strong negative feelings about the mystique of the wilderness. There being nothing more unseemly than contentious guests, we talked about bucking horses, Pendleton, Casey Tibbs and passed the time easily.
The Galbraith Lake camp was a collection of a dozen or so prefabricated bunkhouses (mostly empty and sealed), an assortment of machine shops and maintenance sheds clustered around the gravel helicopter pad. Behind the buildings, like Conestoga wagons drawn up around a pioneer camp, were ranked files of formidable construction machines: 35 vans and pickups, 22 graders, 12 dump trucks, nine trailer tractors, seven drilling rigs, five front-end loaders, two tankers, two cranes, two shovels. The equipment had been there for at least a year, hauled in during the winters of 1971 and 1972 over an ice road from Fairbanks.
"——," said a Galbraith Lake electrician, waving his hand at an enormous crane. "You know damn good and well that they were going to build this——pipeline no matter what those——environmentalists might have thought. Those wheeler-dealers who sent all this stuff up here did not bring it up to give to the——caribou."