Lessons from: Ft. MacMurray

Spent a very eye opening few weeks up in Ft. MacMurray Alberta recently.  Learned a couple valuable lessions:

1.  Perception is vast and varied.  I thought “Ft. Mac” was a pretty decent town.  Those who warned me from going would have had me believe it was nothin short of the wild west; a place of dirt roads, a saloon and where “life is cheap”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  With the nationally ranked #1 municipal education system, gorgeous hiking trails and warm, friendly people, I found it to be a great experience.  Lesson learned:  don’t let other people’s preconceptions hold you back from doing something you want to try.

2.  Specialization is a great way to wealth.  Ft. Mac is a mining town – specifically, they mine oil from the tar sands.  To get down to the oil, they can’t use traditional oil derricks, so they need to haul away the covering dirt… in one of these:

caterpillar-797

The tires on these puppies cost $60,000 each, the truck itself is over $3.4 million.  And Caterpillar’s got the market covered.  I don’t know how many they’re selling but, like any monopoly, they set the price where it makes sense to them.  For those looking for more info on this monster, I found a great blog HERE.

I’ve been on the road for the past 4 weeks, with 3 more to go – expect to see more “Lessons from…” in the near future.

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