Thursday, April 03, 2008

When pretty colors aren't that pretty . . .

Katie and Rachel on Rachel's b-day! (photo by B-Nelson)

On March 17th, we had the privilege of celebrating Rachel's birthday with her. She got Hut 10 and Katie whipped up some basic, but great grub for Rachel. Major kudos to Katie since it was her day off and did what she always does, cook. Rachel wanted a basic dinner because our dining hall usually makes more complex dishes. Katie made chicken wings, mac & cheese, cake, and other yummy stuff I can't remember to go with Rachel's favorite drink - Pepsi (sometimes mixed with Rum).

B-Nelson hiding in window sill of Hut 10 (photo by Rachel J.).

Jude, smartly inside Hut 10 staying warm (photo by Rachel J.)

The rest of us enjoying sunset outside of Hut 10. (photo by Holly T.)

Outside of having stupendous company, a yummy dinner, and being in Antarctica, I think Rachel might have gotten the sweetest present of all - a sunset that I'm not sure I have ever seen matched in the world, not even in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans.

Rachel's b-day sunset (photo by Rachel J.)

Rachel's b-day sunset over Hut 10's backyard (photo by Rachel J.)

Holy Orange Batman! (photo by Rachel J.)

Disappearing sun light (photo by Rachel J.)

Fast forward to this week and I was attending another birthday party in Hut 10. Papa Bravo didn't have a great sunset, but Cathy and he did whip up some great Cuban sandwiches and Cuban style beans and rice. At his party, Papa Bravo said he used to live in Batman in a Southeastern US state. I can't remember which state and can't google it. Are there any other superhero towns out there? Where is Batman?

As for me, I just got done with a work order in medical. It seems they didn't want gansta rap to be playing in their waiting room . I thought they were setting a trend and were soon going to be outsourcing their new idea to the world, but maybe not.

This week is a short week. We get a two day weekend which I have mixed feelings about. Normally, I'd get to go out and play, ski, etc. However, I can't do that this weekend. I managed to sprain my ankle Monday night and that leads into the theme of this blog 'when pretty colors aren't that pretty . . . ' The pictures should speak for themselves.

4 days since the sprain.

4 days since the sprain, notice the pretty colors on top.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Shawntel and B-Nelson Heading towards the second sled hill.

An old Sabah teammate and friend, Jon Stadlin, is working with a group of kids called the Y Explorers that teaches kids about the Earth. They asked what we do for fun. This post is for them, specifically Daniera and Nadina. Unfortunately, there is no way that these pictures will do the experience justice.

The Castle Rock loop is about 9.3 miles round trip, but only 3.6 miles to the rock. We hauled a sled that is normally used to haul materials up to the rock. From there, we were able to go on the first of the two best sled rides of my life! Shawntel, Brian, and I hopped in the sled and came flying down the hill found in this old blog picture. Just follow the flag line and you'll see where we went and pretty much stopped. We all had to lean together like a bobsled team to steer where we were going. I was pretty amazed at how far we had gone, probably over a half mile. However, the best fun was still to be had.

The big sledding hill (and the Kiwi ski hill on the left)!

With a few attempts at sled surfing along the way, we moved the sled down to the next hill. This hill was a lot steeper and longer. The kiwis use part of it as their ski hill. The big trick about navigating this hill was that we had to follow the flag line. We have to follow the flag line whenever we hike in Antarctica because it marks the safe walking routes. If we left the flag line, we could fall into a crevasse. If you enlarge the picture above and look closely, you can see a set of vertical flags. There are also a few very hard to see ones one third of the way down that marks the beginning and right side of the Kiwi ski hill. Two-thirds of the way down, near a bunching in the vertical line, is a very hard to see horizontal flag line that marks a crevasse.

With all of the above in mind and plans to bail out if we got to far off course, we set off on our journey. We started from a spot just out of sight in the picture above. I was in the front and we started off slow. As we reached top speed, we couldn't steer quite as well and got a little off course. Brian dug his hands in the snow to get us back on track and we slid safely down to where the building was. It didn't feel safe though. It was scarier than the front of any roller coaster I have ever been on. We might not have gone as fast as a roller coaster, but we didn't have the same safety equipment either. I can't wait to go again.

Walking back to base after the best sledding EVER!

Monday, March 31, 2008

2nd to last flight

Castle Rock and Mt. Erebus

This set of pictures was taken over a month ago when the next to last flight of summer was leaving. Not too much to say about it, just a lot to show. It was amazing to get such a nice day when they were leaving because it had been bad weather more often than not that last couple weeks of mainbody (summer).

Mt. Terror from the Castle Rock loop trail.

Me in front of Castle Rock.

B-Nelson, Mt. Hood resident, research tech, and a constant source of laughter.

Looking at my backside while I am climbing up the back side of Castle Rock.

Looking down at Brian's head while he heads up Castle Rock.

Fabulous clouds over Mt. Terror.

Inaccessible, Tent, Razorback islands and Cape Evans.

Mt. Erebus from Castle Rock.

The next to last plane leaving (picture from B-Nelson).

The trail back to town.

Castle Rock with Joe L on top.

Brian and I leaving Castle Rock (picture by Joe L.)

Me on Castle Rock with Mt. Erebus in the background.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Southern Cross

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time,
You understand now why you came this way.
'Cause the truth you might be runnin' from is so small,
But it's as big as the promise, the promise of a comin' day.
-Crosby, Stills, and Nash

It is 3:45am in the morning and I just saw the Southern Lights/Aurora Australis and the Southern Cross for the first time. It is definitely a reason that I came this way.

A major thank you to Candy who woke me up for this and excitement for Cabrini who is on her way to see the Southern Cross for the first time next month.