Thursday, August 07, 2008

It is Getting Windy!

Looking back towards town, the Pegasus airfield, and Mt. Discovery from Castle Rock.

I have tried writing this blog about five times now and I never seem to finish. The basic theme is that the weather is getting nasty. Last week, four out of seven days had a low temperature below -30F. The worst was -41.5F around 4pm last Friday. If the temperature isn't cold enough, then the wind is blowing to make sure we feel it.

B-Nelson after our Castle Rock hike in a balmy -20F. (Yes, that has begun to feel warm)

The sun comes up in just seven days and it will bring the worst weather of the year. This is the coldest part of the year because the sun has been gone the longest. Even after we start to see the sun, there is a lag before it really warms up. It is the same thing back home. The coldest day of the year isn't the shortest day. It is usually sometime after that in January or February. We get more wind this time of year because the sun will be bringing in more warm air. When that warm air meets the cold air, we can get breezes and storms. I'm sure someone more meteorologically minded, like Sheetal, can give you a better explanation.

McMurdo Base from Observation Hill.

Last week, as we approach this nasty weather, my Big Red finally quit. The zipper just refused to stay shut. If it zipped up at all, the bottom usually opened up. Not pleasant and since it was one of the coldest weeks for me yet, really not pleasant. Luckily, the BFC has some extras. My new jacket is more of a medium red, but it is working for me so far. One of the first days that my Big Red stopped working was on my last Ob Hill hike. The wind was blowing down to -51F and was so strong it actually pushed me down the hill at some points. I don't know the last time that wind actually moved me. I think that may have only happened because I was on a downhill though. Either way, pretty neat. I was glad to be off the hill.

Looking north from the Hut Point.

My final hike two weeks ago was on Sunday. Raja, B-Nelson, and I went out on the Ridge. I was hoping to do more, but the blowing wind took away my motivation. The colors on the horizon were great as always, but we are starting to lose them at noon. The best colors are getting pushed back later and later in the day. That is kind of unfortunate for my lunch time hikes. In about a week, I should be able to go after work and catch those same colors.

Looking north from the Hut Ridge Loop trail.

On our hike, I learned something new about the trail. Raja informed B-Nelson and I about the make out spot. She said people like to hang out there because there isn't that much wind. I think we sat there for about five minutes trying to get warm. There was plenty of wind and we moved on quickly, but I'm keeping that spot in mind for next time I want to help someone get that Dentyne Icy Fresh breath without the gum.

Raja and B-Nelson are at the 'make out' spot, but not making out. Huh?

When I finally leave . . . .

I just read this interesting post by Keri that mentions life when you get back home. It makes me a little anxious. I've known something like this was coming as I've watched some of my relationships fade while others have blossomed. Reintegrating to home is never easy after being away for so long. Life has moved on even though we've left.

Here is the part that interested me about Keri's post:
It is this sense of displacement, post-Antarctica. The feeling that you have one foot in two worlds, so different from each other that functioning well in one takes a completely different skill set than functioning well in the other. I've been lucky enough to see many Antarctica friends, and touch base with even more over the summer, and I think we all feel this way to some degree. For some, it hits us with deep, inexplicable sadness. Depression. Inertia. We emerge from the ice completely changed as people, and our relationships with the people in the "real world" have changed profoundly -- some in very positive ways, and some in very negative ways. If you are a first-time Antarctican reading this blog to find out what life's all about, be prepared for this. Maybe it will make it easier to not be taken so by surprise. But maybe not -- it's a feeling shared by many of my second and third season friends as well.

I realized today that in the last couple of weeks, I've finally, FINALLY, felt like I am a complete, functioning person in the "real world" again.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

An Example of Not Thinking

I thought it would be fun to put up some e-mails that I received last week to illustrate the point that we can't think and continue to make fun of it. The best part is that we still manage to understand what each other means even when the wrong words come out - though I have to admit this e-mails took a couple readings.

From: R in response to this.
That was lovely. Loved the pics. In fact I was easily distracted by them and kept forgetting to read everything else. It is crazy how many times I chuckle in agreement or sit here shaking my head yes because it all makes so much sense. I immediately start thinking of my own instances and then realize I have stopped reading again which makes me is another good example of getting off is a visicous cycle. Have you also changed at all how you write because the spelling of a word just doesn't come to you? Like just now with visicous....I know that is spelled wrong but I am obviously so far from it that the spell check cannot even figure out what I am trying to say. Normally I would just change completely what I am saying but you get my point, right? Maybe it is too far off for even you to understand what I am trying to say but the word means something like mean.
Ok I just read this and I don't know that it will make sense to you, but oh well. I could delete it all and just write That was lovely, but no one will know that this just took me 10 minutes to write this. No joke. Maybe this is, at least for me, another good point to bring up when e-mailing. How are we supposed to get good information and an informative e-mail out when it takes 10 minutes just to realize you wrote about nothing.
I should stop now....

From: R
I have dedcided to not delete anything that I write but instead go back and put it in red, unless it is for business. I really wonder how much time I am spending deleting things because of misspellingas or just becuase the thought went nowhere. It is my new study and challenge to you all. Maybe this is more my downfall than others but I find myself trying to write something, sometimes three or four times. Of course now I seem to be doing it quite eloquently, but yea. You should all do this to your friends and everyone. Perfect example...I would have erased that whole last sentence. I plan to do it to all my e-mails so people can see how often I either change my mind or just spell stuff wrong. Maybe then I can visualize why it takes so long to put things oin papere-mail. Ok this could be a bad idea. To go bak and highlight takes MUCH longer in fact this is a stupid e-mail.
Alright I am not erasing it (please imagine the whole paragraph above in red)....instead I will send it onto you all but please don't be scared. I swear I am not as mentally crazy as I may appear. Kinda like the mirror...Objects are closer than they appear. Although maybe it should be the other way around...People here (aka me) are crazier than they appear. This is almost creppy creepy because although I am telling you all nothing, at the same time I feel like I am opening you all to my mind sharing too much.
Please do not respond back. I feel I might try to respond sanely (I KNOW, that is a relative term) back and then another masterpiece from [R] herself might end up in all of your Inboxes.
Make it all stop...
I WANT TO GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know who it is...its me the psycho chick