Hi! After a fantastic field season in West Antarctica … and a few humbling weeks in Hanover, NH, I’m back in a polar region! I know … what is it about snow and ice (and cold) that draws me back time and time again?
Perhaps its the adventurous call of the unknown … as in, what is just beyond the horizon, behind that oddly shaped sastrugi? Or, perhaps its the stark contrast of life thriving in an area typically thought of as harsh, desolate and unforgiving?
Or, maybe it is actually that much fun. Whatever the reason, I’m sitting here in building 353 on Thule AFB, Greenland, typing my latest (and possibly last, for a while) blog entry concerning the Greenland Inland Traverse, or GrIT, 2011!
I’m here with Thomas Overly (fellow IGERT, uh, Fellow), and we’re here to, essentially, be the science “caboose” on a re-supply train from Thule to Summit Camp. It’ll be very exciting … and quite challenging, too. There is a lot of science to be done. We’re trying to follow the tracked-vehicle “footfalls” of C.Benson and his traverse of the mid-1950s. All very exciting!
The first “step” would definitely be considered a “doozy”! There are a lot of crevasses to be negotiated just in the first 70 miles!
Life here is a bit surreal. On any number of levels … from the galley, to the buildings (and their colors), to the surroundings. Take, for example, my previous “polar” experiences … not much in the way of wildlife (unless you count magical unicorns, and I do count them). Here? A much different story!
Obviously, the traverse is a huge deal. Not many get to tromp across the ice sheet. That said, we’re not without our “duties”. How does one get fuel from “point A” in Greenland to “point B”? Via HUGE fuel bladders … or really big water beds, =D
My excitement is hardly containable! I’ve been writing Arctic doggerels to my office mate in anticipation of this exciting journey! We have this way pimped-out Wanigan that includes an Iridium “data port”, survey-grade GPS, and a stove, =D
So … that’s a taste of what I’m doing now. We’re busy readying our science cargo sled from which we’ll do all of our GrIT science. Its a mix of academia and carnival … really.
See you when I get back!