Monday, October 22, 2007

It has been a few days . . . .

It has been three days since I've posted. Part of that is me being lazy, part of that is working to come up with new material, and part of that is me being busy.

The highlight of my weekend was getting to see the Banff Film Festival. I've seen it the past three or four years and I love it every time. Great stuff! Perhaps even more amazing that the film festival itself was how many people were crammed into the galley to see it. (By the way, the galley is still named the galley even though it isn't on a ship because the Navy used to own this base and called it the Galley.) I don't think you could have put one more person on the viewing side of the galley.

Saturday, I slept in a little and then headed to the gym for my longest run ever on a treadmill. 13.1 miles. Ugh to the treadmill, but it is better than doing nothing. I think I can run faster on the treadmill than outside because it forces me to keep a certain pace, but it also takes a lot more concentration for me to keep at it hour after hour.

Luckily, the fun of running for two hours on a treadmill wasn't the only fun for the day. After lunch, one of Old Antarctic Explorers (O.A.E. which is really just a nickname for anyone who has been down a few times), took us out to his secret spot for sledding. It took a short hike ducking under pipes and making sure not to step on frozen fuel lines, but we finally arrived at our sledding hill.

Our sledding hill with the sea ice at the bottom as far as the eye could see

Once we got to the hill, Joe, our OAE tour guide, went first to 'show us how it was done.' Unfortunately, he lost his sled. If you take a look in the next picture about half way down and a quarter of the way in from the left is his sled spinning away unto the sea ice. It is a small dot, but it is also in the area he clearly told us not to go. I don't think we were in danger of the sea ice breaking underneath us because that is also where they land the C-17s right now. The problem was that we wouldn't be able to easily stop on the ice and could keep going until we got to an unchecked area where there could be crevasses (already broken through ice) into the ocean below.

Joe's sled spinning away onto the sea ice.

In the end, we all figured out how to go down in our own way. Some went down the slower, but more native penguin style, others went with something akin to a toboggan, and a few went down the fastest way of all, on their back.

Penguin style sledding.

Toboggan style sledding with the base of Observation Hill in the background.

After a couple hours, we packed it in because the weather was taking a turn for the worst. Still, it was a great day. I honestly can't remember the last time I went sledding, especially stolen cafeteria style tray sledding. The parallels between a college campus and this base continue to grow.

Amanda poses beside her weapon of choice for sledding.

I simply strike a pose for my mom's viewing pleasure, just like on Semester at Sea. I guess I should thank her because if she didn't want those photos then I probably wouldn't have any photos of myself at all.

Our hike back to town with the helipad directly in front of us and my dorm somewhere in the white.

We only get one day off a week and everyone wants to make the most of it, but everyone also wants to catch up from being exhausted. As I was on my way back to my room to get some of my missing sleep, Kevin drug me out to the Coffee House for a movie. They were viewing Ghost on a home theater system as good as any that I have seen. It wasn't spectacular, but it did have five pretty well spaced speakers, a huge TV, and five rows of couches for your viewing pleasure. I had no idea that part of the Coffee House existed and though I was reluctant to really watch any TV, I was still excited to find out something new about this place. That was actually the first TV I have watched except the final three outs of the Rockies making it to the World Series and that was just because I was waiting for someone else.

I closed out the night by volunteering in the pot room in the kitchen. Wow is really all I have to say. I know some people can make a lot of pots while cooking dinner, but we washed for almost two straight hours while pots and pans continued to show up. Amazing. Egg beaters as tall as me. Spatulas that could double as oars. The next morning, my right shoulder was soar from being used so much.


  1. Of course your mother wants to see pictures of you among all the other interesting pictures!!!! Guess it was a "condition 1" when you went sledding or is that only for bad weather. What was your weapon of choice?

  2. Is that a Sabah hoodie under your Sabah hat? Also, why would anyone volunteer for "pot detail?" Isn't there at least one dishwasher in the 1200-man support staff?

  3. I do have my blue sabah hoodie down here, Tall man. I'm not sure of the last time I traveled without it. I briefly considered my black sabah hoodie instead, but left it behind this time.

    There are dishwashers down here. In fact, the DA staff is huge, but it isn't the most glamorous job so other people help out from time to time. -Brody

  4. so have you seen real live penguins "sledding" or sliding yet?

  5. I have not seen a single living penguin yet. Rumor has it that people saw one near the runway yesterday morning. Open water is still 20 miles away. As it melts closer, we'll be more likely to see our frozen friends.