It is early morning here and the scientists are still snuggled in their sleeping bags and cozy tents. The morning marine fog has once again made an appearance. I cannot sleep because I realize that in a couple of days I will be leaving this place. It's funny really, we do without the comforts of home, we miss our family and friends, we endure the constant onslaught of insects and we are filthy. Yet, we are happy to be here in each other's company. I have known these people for 23 days and I am already feeling that I will miss them tremendously once I leave the field.

I am the first to go. People start talking about all the things they will do when they get home whenever they are in the company of someone who will soon have those things. Certainly I am not adverse to a hot shower and some clean clothes. My clothes and I have been washed in river water for the past couple weeks and although this freshens things up, neither could be mistaken for clean. It doesn't seem to matter really.

I am looking forward to seeing some of members of the Paleo-Ecology Team that we last saw in Ushki. They are coming by vesdehod to camp today to assist in planning my exit. The plans are still unclear and change by time of day or weather or any other number of factors. It is as much an effort to come here, maybe more, than it is to go home. Both places are worth every effort.

Vesdehod and Paleo-Ecology Team
Just after dinner time we hear the unmistakable sound of the vesdehod. Some of the Paleo-Ecology Team has come to help come up with options for my departure.

Dan in rowboat
Dan is rowed across the river to our side with the vesdehod driver's rowboat. He is such a happy person, we are all happy to see him.

Tanya and Dustin
Tanya and Dustin cross to see us. Everyone by now is standing on the shore to watch our guests arrive.

I am leaving behind as many things as possible that might be helpful or appreciated by the people who are staying. The most sought after item is a half jar of Skippy peanut butter. Which is rather amusing because how many people in your world would really want someone else's half eaten container of food?

lunch break
This is one of my usual spots for meals. Notice the Skippy jar close by. I am leaving it to Jody when I go because she will make sure it is distributed equally - I don't want any food fights in my absence.

To celebrate my possible departure (as I said things are changing constantly), we broke out a bag of marshmallows last night and roasted them over the fire. They tasted better than I remember marshmallows ever tasting. Everyone here is helping me and working to get a practical plan to get me home. For a person who likes to plan things in advance, this is very stressful.

In a day or so these posts will pause for a few days while I travel. I am leaving the satellite phone with the team so sending my journals via satellite will not be possible. Once I am near Internet or civilization I will post the adventures of how I actually get home for you. As for now I leave you with the phrase that is very popular here – Kamchatka is Kamchatka.