Doom, gloom, and FUN

Did you hear about the three holes in the ground?

Well, well, well. things have definitely settled down here, but that doesn’t mean that I’m happy with them. I’ve got my plans for revenge, but I don’t really want to put them in writing. It took me a long time to come up with the perfect plan that would hit the people that need to be hit and not those that do not deserve extra work (janitors, DAs, GAs, etc). It’s not going to happen right away, but when it does, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.

Since being moved out of the power plant to do ‘important’ work, I have done next to nothing….partially due to my resolution to do as little as possible, but also because there ain’t shit for me to do. My basic day now consists of standing around and watching other people do things that I’m not qualified or trained to do. And since my redeployment date is Feb 8th, they figure it’s not really worth the time to train me….so I do a lot of watching and chatting it up with the plumbers, electricians, and sheet metal guys they stick me with. I did spend half a day re-caulking panels on top of the water plant with Rob the GA. Oh, and a few days a week they stuck me in the waste water plant to suck up shit with a dry-vac. As gross as the shit mine is, it was kind of welcoming to go back there and work with Bec and Simon. However, I hope I don’t get the black lung.

Two nights ago the DAs rented out Hut 10 for a little party. Before things got going, a group of us were sunbathing out on the back porch looking out over the path left by the Oden ice breaker. We could see little seals dotting the path. All of a sudden someone noticed a poof of water/air and a fin/tail! Orcas! It was amazing. for a long time the group of us would sit in silence just watching…then the orca would make its presence known and everyone would cheer and yell and point…then silence again while we waited it out. It was a great time. I tried to take some photos for y’all, but they just didn’t capture the amazingness of the whole experience.

On Saturday I got to go on a true boondoggle. I meet up with the other 7 people chosen for ‘hard work’ by our supervisors at the Science Support Center (SSC) for our briefing. We made our way down to where the snow mobiles were kept and got to take our pick. I, of course, picked the best one. After a very short introduction to the controls, we were off! And boy were we off. I got up to about 55 mph, which is REALLY fast on a snow mobile. The first stop was the Pegasus Airfield (named after the Pegasus plane that crashed there) which is about 14 miles out on the sea ice. We got to get out and explore the plane, climb on it, and even try to make snow angels. When people had had their fill we jumped back on the snow mobiles and went to Room With A View (RWAV). RWAV is a spot about 1500 feet up the side of Mt Erebus (14000 feet). The ride up there was amazing, because very soon we were WAY out of town and no signs of life of any kind (aside from the flags marking the safe route). 1500 feet up a 14000 foot volcano doesn’t seem like much of anything, but when looking back towards McMurdo, you realize how high up you actually are. We could see the backside of Castle Rock, open ocean out near Cape Evans, the Oden ice breaker making its rounds clearing out the path it had made weeks before, Scott Base, the Mt Erebus glacial tongue, and a fantastic view of Mt Ereubs itself. About five feet of snow had fallen up there since the last group took the trip (which is insane, since they went the day before!), so it was fun to sink into the deep snow. We had lunch, dug holes in the snow, played in the little yellow tent that was set up for emergencies, threw a frisbee around, and just generally hung out. then we made the trip back down the side of the mountain, which was amazing. The view was great, flying through the fresh snow, and racing each other back to the refueling spot really put a good ending to the trip.

My redeployment date is Feb 8th, and I’m really excited to get out of here and do a bit of traveling before I head back to the wonderful land of Portland, OR. I can’t wait. And for those of you who wanted a ‘facial hair update’. Here you go!

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2 Responses to “Doom, gloom, and FUN”

  1. andyman Says:

    When you work too long in the poop-plant you get *brown* lung. I love the picture of your “rock on” the snowmobile 🙂 Can’t wait to see you again!

  2. Ellen Says:

    Nate-
    Today is Saturday, February 2nd. I’m doing a count down with you.

    What is your travel route?

    Ellen

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