Awesome: Getting a callout that is bound to be long and arduous just as you sit down to a nice fortifying pasta dinner
Bummer: Not getting to have a glass of wine at dinner because you got the callout right as you were ordering

Awesome: Starting an evening mission by riding a few miles up a steep trail on a huge four wheeler driven by a state trooper sergeant so you can save your legs for the long night ahead
Bummer: The two hikers you encounter don’t seem the least bit impressed by the fact that a uniformed police officer thinks you’re important enough to drive you up into the mountains on an ATV

Awesome:
After several years of mountain rescue, finally getting your shit together well enough that you have everything you need every time you head out for a mission
Bummer: Finding out that, though you have everything you need, one little thing will get you down every time. Said little things include:

  • blisters from boots you’ve had for years and have never had problems with before this one night
  • finding out your headlamp/helmet combo, though each perfect on their own, together are just a tiny tad bit too heavy for your neck to get through the night unscathed
  • discovering that a reality TV cameraperson is poised to follow you into the mountains

Awesome: the feeling of accomplishment you get from escorting a subject, unharmed, from the field after a long night of searching and rescuing
Bummer: the letdown when you doff your rescue gear and go to say goodbye to your subject to wish them luck, and are met with a blank stare and “…and you are…?” because they don’t recognize you without your helmet and jacket*

Awesome: being the one person on the team who has that one vital piece of equipment needed at the crucial moment
Bummer: Never seeing that piece of gear again

Awesome:
Having a significant other who is willing to jump through the hoops to join mountain rescue and come with you to missions and wait all night for you at base while going through training
Bummer: Discovering that said SO, despite having waited for you literally all night at base, is just as tired as you and can’t, actually, serve as your own personal driver while you sleep on the way home

Awesome:
making enough bacon in the morning to supply you with pocket bacon for your late night call-out
Bummer: Seeing your search subject’s eyes light up at the mention of bacon and knowing that you’re never going to get any of your own pocket bacon that night
Awesome 2: Finding one last piece of bacon that your subject missed in the bag
Bummer 2: Realizing that you can’t live with yourself if you don’t give it to your boyfriend who waited for you all night at base

Bummer: Spending a good deal of your search time hunkered in a tiny hollow on the side of a mountain after delivering a small but essential piece of gear, hiding from the howling wind, shivering more and more because it’s summer and you didn’t bring puffy pants because it was 85 degrees last week, and waiting a few hours for your teammates to get there because it’s either that or hike all the way in to meet them and then hike all the way back which makes no sense
Awesome: Spending that shiver/hunker time with a teammate with whom you rarely get to talk and who otherwise would be shivering and hunkering all alone

Awesome: Whiling away your shiver/hunker time with one of the best views in the world on one of the longest nights, daylight-hours-wise, of the year
Bummer: Doing that all freaking night long

Awesome: “At least it’s not raining.”
Bummer: just guess what happens after someone says that

Awesome: Having a serendipitous day off and being able to sleep until 1pm after getting home from a mission at 5am
Bummer: Realizing at 11pm that night that you forgot to unload and dry out all the gear you left in your truck that morning when you got home at 5am and you’re going to have to do it now (either that or write this post)

 

*and bacon