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December 17, 2002

Check-in Dec 17, 2002

The day went something like: Wake up, eat breakfast (fried egg, potatoes, bacon, English muffin, all real), go to the crater rim with Rich Esser to lay and splice cable. We were both very tired, and walked slowly. At one glorious moment, I lie on my back in the sun while waiting for Rich, and life was good. Not too cold, not windy. Slight breeze, thus sometimes chilly. When we ran out of cable, we hopped back on skidoos and cruised back to the hut for a late lunch. After lunch, I napped. Nelia came in and viewed my head on my hands, saying, “Beth, you look distraught.” I looked up sleepily. She suggested I take a nap before the helos came. I moved to the bench and lied down, and then I remember waking up to the sound of the helo and Nelia said, “Man, I swear you were asleep within 30 seconds of laying down.” “Yeah,” Rich added, “and snoring.”

Helo time took up the afternoon, from 4-6 PM. Three sling loads (net attached to bottom of helo) and one internal load (inside helo) to Ray’s Shoulder, one internal load to E1, one sling load to Nausea. This kept us pretty busy. I got to hook on one of the sling loads, which I described a few entries back, but this time it was to a 212, the bus not the racecar, and life under its belly was significantly windier. The pilot also hovered pretty low, making me wonder what I would do if he grounded out. No worries. There’s plenty of room under there.

In the loads, for those curious, were mostly batteries, battery boxes, solar panels and mounts, etc. Heavy things that we don’t want to skidoo to the sites. Oh, and I also executed my first real radio conversation, communicating with Rich Esser at E1. He said I did very well. (The first time, I had some mic keying issues. This time, I figured out the mic ahead of time.)

After helo-ing, we ate dinner (shrimp with angel hair pasta, and fresh salad) and watched “The Heist” on DVD, with blankets over the windows. I call no more last-shot theft movies. Yuck. Unless they’re incredibly clever.

The plume is straight up today, meaning there is no wind. It’s rising from the volcano, and then hanging out, not quite sure where to go so piling up on itself to the west in front of the sun. The sun, to rebel, turns bronze in the sulfur of the plume.


[Too late to catch the bronze, but still nice.]

Posted by beth at December 17, 2002 5:24 PM

Comments

The plume is straight up today,
meaning there is no wind.
Itís rising from the volcano,
and then hanging out, not quite sure where to go
so
piling up on itself to the west in front of the sun.The sun,
to rebel,
turns bronze in the sulfur of the plume.

I am an English teacher. A noticer of words. So when you shared your thoughts, and I read them, I siad, "Dude! That's a poem." My students were taking a test; therefore, I had to speak my lines internally. Ya know dramatic-monolgue for the soul.
When you're in the South, do you want to listen to Jimmy Buffet music to think tropical or do you want to read about Ernest Shackleton?
By the way, when you go to the gift shop/store to get Steve's T-shirt, can you get me a magnet for my classroom?

Posted by: gary collins at December 19, 2002 4:43 AM

I just noticed something when i was sharing your poem with a couple of students. It's my birthday in Antarctica.

Posted by: gary collins at December 19, 2002 7:15 AM

LOVE that last paragraph and was going to comment on it before reading gary's comment. agree with gary that it is very poetic! but keep it as prose for those of us not much into poetry. awesome pictures!

Posted by: wilma, mother of beth at December 19, 2002 6:25 PM