Brown days in town

The sand that kept Burns Lake safe for driving all winter is turning the roads into a dirt show with the thaw we’ve had in town.

The sand that kept Burns Lake safe for driving all winter is turning the roads into a dirt show with the thaw we’ve had in town. It took a lot of gravel and sand to keep drivers from launching past stop signs coming down the hill from any number of steep avenue accesses.

Public works did an amazing job this winter with those steep hills, and there’s not much they can do about the accumulation of dirt until all the snow is gone.

We might as well get used to the dust and dirt because there will be a lot more of that coming this spring when construction finally gets underway at the new hospital, the sawmill, and at the arena.

Spring construction is dirty, filthy, and muddy. Trucks trail long strips of mud behind them as they leave soupy construction sites and workers deal with muddy boots that leave a trail of dry and crumbling mud behind as if their owners needed help finding their way back to work.

It’s the constant accumulation of little irritants that can make a person crazy at this time of the year.

Having a perpetual layer of mud on your boots and a vehicle interior that seems hopeless to try and keep clean slowly wears you down. You start to sink into the grime and you begin to think it’s normal.

I remember walking into a cafe or pub after a day of early-season work on a construction site, and maybe the cafe or pub wasn’t in an area that had a lot of construction around normally.

You’d get some strange looks. You might wonder why, briefly. Soon you notice that your buddy looks like he just washed his hair in a street puddle after crawling out of a hole. Shortly after that you realize that you don’t look any more civilized than your buddy.

What’s a worker to do? He or she is filthy, the site was filthy, the truck is a sandbox, and you can’t see the pavement for the dirt on the roads.

But that cold beer after work tastes especially good before you’ve had a chance to shower-off the day’s grime. The grimier you are, the better it tastes, but always drink that cold beer responsibly.

Burns Lake is used to people looking like they earn their living the hard way, so a couple hundred extra construction workers around town probably won’t raise too many eyebrows.

If things seem dirty and dusty now, I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. To all the eateries, pubs and other businesses in town, maybe you should start thinking about your floors now, because those boots are just around the corner.

Dirty boots come with the construction that’s coming to town and there’s not a thing anybody can do about it. If you take an extra pair of boots to the site, say a pair of mud boots, it just means that you’ll have two pair of muddy boots by the end of the day.

The dirt is inevitable. It’s just spring in a northern town.