July 18, 2012 Two Flat Tires and No Windshield: An Epic Road Trip
"Two anesthesiologists, a surgeon, and a veterinarian from Argentina pull up to a remote field station in Alaska with two flat tires and no windshield. True life, no joke." - Susanna Michael, Smith College
On one of my last days in the field, I want to go back to an earlier event (July 10) that captures some of the essence of Toolik's character. This is a strange, but incredible place. You never know what you are going to see or hear, and nothing seems outrageous or surprising. During my first week here I heard researcher Mike Weintraub commenting on all of the interesting characters you find around camp. He explained that boring people just don't want to come to the Arctic. He's right! It takes a different mindset to work here, and as a result you are surrounded by a variety of really interesting people sharing incredible experiences, and everyone has a great story.
Contact with the outside world is relatively limited. Our physical world consists of about 80 people. Facebook is one of the most common ways to get our news from the outside world. I find myself caring less about global events while I'm here and more interested in what the people I know are up to. I've only gone to bed before midnight once since being here. The quotes and photos in this journal are gathered from the Facebook postings of Toolik friends. It explains why I hated to go to bed early in fear of missing something interesting.
Apparently the group had driven from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic Ocean and they were on their way back when they rolled into camp looking for a hand with the two flat tires. I was so disappointed to have missed out on an opportunity to meet such interesting characters. Only at Toolik! I'm really going to miss this place!