September 1, 2008
This is the end…
My wind chapped and sun cracked nose has finally healed. Family barbeques and fresh garden vegetables are helping me pack the 15 lost pounds back onto my frame. The heat of summer continues to remind me of cool nights at Summit Camp.
It took a while for me to ease back into life "in the real world”. The 90 degree difference between Summit Camp, and the heat wave that has engulfed Billings, MT this summer has proved to be the hardest adjustment. With time (and air conditioning) I am learning to cope with the scorching temperatures.
But…let me take a step back…
I arrived at the Billings airport late on the night of July 12th. My wife called me while I was waiting for my baggage at the carrousel to tell me she had to move the car...
July 14, 2008 – Monday – Finding my way home
There’s no place like home…
Packing up equipment and long travels have left me weak and worn, but I after 2 nights sleep in a MY BED, I am refreshed once again, and I wanted to take time to fill you in on the trip home!
So, settle in, this is fixin’ to be a short novel instead of a journal entry!!
July 10, 2008
We were scheduled to leave Summit Camp at 7am, we were all ready to go when we heard that the plane was having mechanical problems in Kanger and wasn’t able to leave on time. Finally, several hours later, the Herc arrived to drag us off the ice.
The flight was much more eventful that it should have been! First of all, we tried to take off one time with no success, the snow had already warmed too much. So, we taxied back to...
July 12, 2008 - Saturday - Homebound
Sorry there has been no communication from me in several days.
I have made it from Summit to Kangerlussuaq to Scotia, NY and now I am finally in the airport in Albany, NY...waiting for the next plane to take me to Minneapolis...then...finally to Billings!
I didn't have internet because I was stayng at the Hotel Umimmak in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland instead of the KISS building (Kangerlussuaq International Science Support operated by the US National Science Foundation) to post updates so I will make a short one now from the airport and tomorrow I will have a FULL update.
The Summit Campers pile into the Hercules for the flight off the ice.
The Musk Ox Inn, my rest stop in Kangerlussuaq.
Flying from Summit to Kangerlussuaq, we went directly...
July 9, 2008 - Wednesday - Saying my Goodbyes
We have been breaking down and moving equipment for 17 hours!
In 4 hours, I will be up and readying my gear to leave the ice sheet. I would write more, but I am worn to the bone.
Tomorrow afternoon we should arrive in Kangerlussuaq, I will give a full report of our departure and adventures in Kanger at that time...
*I can't believe I am actually leaving after 37 days!!! And, I'll be home in 3 more!
July 8, 2008 – Tuesday -Teachers at Summit
The next few journals might be a little shorter than usual. We are feverishly tearing down equipment in order to have everything packed and ready by Wednesday evening.
Katrine and Christine haul the first of MANY pieces of science equipment out of Sat Camp.
Today we were lucky enough to welcome several teachers and students from the US, Greenland, and Norway! They flew in early this morning and were immediately rushed out to Sat Camp so we could give them a tour of all the research projects. They will stay here for two nights and will leave with us and our equipment on Thursday.
The international teachers and students from the Greenland Education Tour listen intently as the scientists explain their experiments
As we were...
July 7, 2008 – Monday - Short-timer
As this day comes to a close, I am finding it hard to believe that I will be leaving Summit Camp in 3 days. With the Hercules leaving here early on Thursday, I actually only have 2 full days left! Then, off to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland for two days before hopping flights home on the 12th.
The short amount of time remaining is sure to fly by. Tomorrow morning we are expecting a dozen teachers from Denmark, Greenland and the US as well as a few students! We will spend the morning showing them around the camp and introducing them to our instruments at Sat Camp. At noon, when we have showed them all of our research, we will begin the long process of tearing all of the equipment down and packing it up for the trip home.
On Wednesday, a NASA plane...
July 6, 2008 – Sunday – Parade Update
Update from yesterday:
While preparing to work on my journal last night, Christine radioed in from Balloon Island to say that the tethersonde winch wasn’t working. The wind had picked up suddenly and the motor couldn’t handle the pull from Nemo on the line. Sadly, it is still not working today. Tomorrow the mechanic, Willow, is going to see if the motor burned up. So, ironically, our $100,000 instrument that is used to measure wind speed has been grounded by…of all things…THE WIND!
When was the last time you went to a Fourth of July Parade when it was 10 deg. F, blowing 10 mph, and snowing sideways? "Last night”, would be my answer!
The parade kicked off at 4:00pm with all the fanfare one would expect at a parade…
Will, the cook, leads the...
July 5, 2008 – Saturday - Celebrate Independence Day!
So, there I was, trying to write my journal entry and all the sudden…I hear over the radio, "THE WINCH IS BROKE!…THE WINCH IS BROKE!…NEMO ISN’T COMING BACK IN!”. And, so, I left this computer and tomorrow…
July 4, 2008 – Friday – 4th of July!
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
I am sure that most of you are out enjoying the sunshine and eating freshly cut vegetables with barbequed meat and watching fireworks light up the night sky. Here at Summit, we are working hard because the weather is finally cooperating (plus, we have no night sky to light up with fireworks). Don’t get too worried though, we have a full day of celebration planned for tomorrow (July 5th). Our parade will kick off around 4:00 in the afternoon, and it will be followed by a BIG barbeque with all the fixins. Myself, Christine (University of Houston) and Neil (British Antarctic Survey) have volunteered to run the barbeque to give the staff a little time to relax!
Although we worked through the day, this has still been a glorious...
July 3, 2008 – Thursday – Freshies
If you haven’t yet noticed, I am continually impressed with the food the cooks are able to deliver to us in camp. We have had shrimp curry, lobster tail, filet mignon, Greek gyros…you name it…we’ve had it!
One might wonder how the cooks are able to get such good food to the table in the middle of nowhere. It all starts when the flight schedule is finalized at the beginning of the season. The cooks look at each C-130 cargo flight coming in and have to order enough food to last until the next flight (sometimes it can be a month in between flights). The order goes out to SYSCO in New York; they deliver the food to Stratton Air Force Base in Scotia, NY. The Air National Guard palletizes the food and loads it onto a Herc. The load is taken off...