Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vacation Day!

Nothing new to report on the work front, since we didn't go to work today! We are waiting for the carpentry shop to finish building a crate we need to pack up the solar panels. The next step is for the heavy equipment crew to come in and dig out the ARRO box. Here's a little look at what they're up against!

Poor little guy is so snowed in


First, they'll have to dig out a good path to get the forklift down there, then slowly get that box up on the forks and finally attempt to back it out and load it on a truck - all without tipping the structure! The NiCd batteries are not allowed to be tipped or else the potassium hydroxide will spill out. BUT none of that can get going without us first taking those big, fragile solar panels off the sides. So we got a vacation day. In honor of such an occasion, I decided to go out last night (Saturday's the big night out around here) and see what the MacTown residents do for fun. And, well, I ended up dressing like a lizard, making friends with the entire medical team of McMurdo and watching a belly dancer perform while a 6-foot tall ghost danced nearby. Pretty good party for the middle of nowhere!

You may think it sounds like all play and no work around here, but that's not the case at all. Over 50 of the McMurdo residents entered in a polar marathon and have been training for weeks! Today was the big day. And I went down to the finish line after brunch with some friends to cheer on a very brave military guy named Mike, who ran the entire 26 miles on the snow and ice, in under 5 hours.

Yay Mike!


After that was all over, we went to visit Scott Base, the Kiwi station right down the road from McMurdo. There are helpful shuttles that go back and forth almost every hour. The base had a cute store, good views and a guest book to sign that went all the way back to 1984!



I visited the MacTown coffee house in the afternoon, which is a great little building, I'll post some pictures sometime. Inside, it looks like you're in the hull of a ship. And it's very warm and relaxing - a great place to get some work on my proposal done. It looks like tonight I've been invited off to play darts & pool for a while. Monday morning means going back to work outside! And it's going to be a cold one I think...

{actual posting date: Sunday, January 17th}

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