Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time to Leave the Dry Valleys

After six days and five wonderful nights, my time in the Dry Valleys did come to a close. My final day there was beautiful. Blue skies. Shining sun. Low wind. It was everything I could have asked for. The Comms guys came in and we got the Internet working at camp again. Something was wrong with the repeater on Voslips.

I didn't think I'd experience too much else on the flight home. I felt like I'd been overloaded for days and didn't know if I could handle too much. However, it turned out that my trip of a life time wasn't quite done yet. After leaving Lake Hoare, we didn't fly straight to McMurdo. We went to 1882 (one of the peaks in the Dry Valleys) to check on the repeater equipment. Then, we went to another mountain top, Voslips, to pick up the Comms techs who were fixing the Internet for Lake Hoare. Finally, we headed home to McMurdo Station. Here is a time lapse of the entire flight.

My helicopter ride from just after take off at Lake Hoare, to 1882, to Voslips, to McMurdo

0:00 The Northern Slope above the Seuss Glacier
0:40 Lake Bonnie
0:50 Loop around back toward Frixel and Lake Hoare
1:10 Lake Bonnie on the loop back around again to gain altitude
1:20 Lake Frixel
1:42 1882 repeater and panorama
2:38 Mt. Voslips
5:15 Mt. Erebus, southern most active volcano in the world
5:35 McMurdo Station

Happy Days

My time out in the field was amazing. My final day at camp with six people instead of just three was much more representative of the field camp experience. To have only three people there was peaceful bliss. I loved it and feel so fortunate to have gotten to go at all, let alone to be delayed there for so many days. I just hope that this series of blogs has conveyed even a small part of what I felt and went through.

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