"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.
Soooo....there we are, north of the Arctic Circle, right around 11:30pm, when a car pulls into camp with Argentina plates...and no windshield...and two flat tires...and four, goggle-wielding, helmet-wearing Argentinians who have been on the road for 6 months..... - Stephen Klobucar, University of Wisconsin. Photo Courtesy of Stephen Klobucar
The windshield vanished--into the dusty, mosquito-ridden air of the Dalton. - Katie Fisher, Utah State University. Photo of Susanna Michael peering through the space that used to be occupied by a windshield. Photo courtesy of Katie Fisher.
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!