Boondoggles are the old Navy term that we use for recreational trips during work time. Sometimes you need to work while you do them. Sometimes you just need to accompany other people who are working. I lucked into a boondoggle on Thursday. I'd be riding along while the MEC mechanics put hours on the new Tuckers that they'll be using for a traverse this coming summer. To put hours on them, they just go driving. My trip with them would be out to the A-Frame and then we'd return home via the Castle Rock loop.
Tucker see, Tucker do.
The south side of the peninsula on the way out to the A-Frame was uneventful. The light from the horizon couldn't get through Erebus and it was foggy. We took a new way out to the A-Frame that I hadn't been on before, but since it was so dark I couldn't truly appreciate it. We stopped for a while to take pictures and look around, but there really wasn't too much to see in those conditions. It was still great to be out of town though. Don't make any mistake about that.
Nacreous or mother-of-pearl clouds seen from Castle Rock.
As we headed up the Castle Rock trail, I started to get excited. You could see that there were bright colors in the sky. We parked at the base of Castle Rock and hiked up to where we could see the horizon. Bright reds and oranges filled the lower part of the sky. Nacreous clouds were in the higher dark part of the sky. This was the best horizon I've see since the sun started coming back up.
Daylight? Not quite. Some day light. Some Tucker headlights. Some photography tricks.
It was so bright that I could capture the horizon light illuminating the ground with my camera. The left of the picture above is lit by the light from the horizon and the right of the picture is lit by the Tucker headlights. It wasn't that bright, but I overexposed the image a little so you could clearly see what was going on. I love how excited I am getting as the sun comes back just a little more each day.
As we turned back to return to the Tuckers, I saw that Castle Rock was lit up. I haven't seen Castle Rock close up since early March. It was weird because I hadn't been there in so long and didn't expect it to be that bright from the headlights. On the south side of the peninsula, the headlights didn't seem to light up too much, but that might have been the weather. After taking that picture, we tromped back down the hill and hopped in the Tuckers. I made the mistake of handling my metal camera equipment with my bare hands once we were inside. I almost got a cold burn. Not smart. The ride home was uneventful. The Tucker side windows continued to freeze up so we couldn't see anything, but the snow and Tucker in front of us.
Sean looking north.