This woman—let's call her Sally—is a smokejumper.
Sally the Smokejumper. That would make a nice title for a children's book.
Smokejumpers are highly trained firefighters who travel all over the United States to jump out of airplanes and parachute into remote areas to provide the initial attack on wildfires that are difficult to access from the ground.
The smokejumper program began in 1939, and the first fire jump was made in 1940 on Idaho's Nez Perce National Forest. In 1981, the first woman smokejumper in the nation successfully completed the training program in Idaho. Man or woman, smokejumpers are badasses in the world of wildland firefighting.
Why, you may ask, is the subject of today’s post? Because by the time my friend Julie gets this to this fourth paragraph, she will (hopefully) have so much time thinking about smokejumpers that she will be able to end her years-long struggle to remember the name of the trailhead where we routinely meet for winter trail rides.
Then she won’t have to close her ride-planning e-mails with, “6:30? Stumpbumper? jumper? smoker? I forget what that trailhead is called.”
What the hell. I can try, right? If this doesn't work, I might just adopt one of her names for the trailhead.
Stumpbumper does sort of have a nice ring to it.