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December 6, 2002

Post-Storm: Back into the Field!

Thursday morning dawned beautifully. Wait, there's no dawn here. When I awoke on Thursday, the weather was beautiful. Yay, hurray! It will be great to go back into the field and pick up the campaign GPS sites.

Then, about an hour after waking time, the sky skanked up. No helos. Another day in the Hut for me. Most others went out in the field by skidoo. I called my folks (we can call out from the Hut. Can you believe it?), worked on putting some photos on the web. That's about it. It was nice to have a quiet day in the hut, though--the lull before the second storm. In the evening, the rest of our group arrived from Fang, and the hut community swelled from 8 to 12. More people, more laptops, more gear. Needless to say, it's nearly impossible to move around the hut in the busy hours without stepping over a leg or a cord or a guitar or whatever. Luckily, mild cramps in the evening rendered me antisocial, and I spent the evening taping handles on the 70-lb batteries in the shed, listening to music and sometimes just sitting.

Today, I awake with a cold. If it's not one thing, it's another. But, the weather was perfect. Perfectly clear, perfectly calm.

Back into the field with you!

Phil and I enjoyed another lovely morning of zipping around to the three campaign GPS sites we visited last Wednesday, this time to pick up the instruments that we left recording. We had intended to pick up the instruments on Monday, but the weather had its own schedule in mind. We were interested to see how the equipment faired in the storm. Would the power or antenna cables be broken? Did the instruments lose power due to snow on the solar panels? Did the solar panels blow away?

[Trimble add. GPS antenna.]

As it turned out, each site was intact, and each, save one, recorded fine. Even the one that had trouble recorded for four full days before experiencing power problems, yielding enough data that we don't have to return to the site.

[View from helo.]

[Crevasses, from helo.]

Although returning to the sites wouldn't be a bad thing. The flight today was gorgeous, and included several deviations from direct routes: one to see a panel of the Kiwi DC-10 full of dignitaries which crashed into Erebus in 1979, and one to tour the volcano's steaming crater.

[Lava lake, from helo.]

[Ice towers.]

After returning, Bill saved me from battery duty by inviting me along on a trip to the crater rim to try to get the livecam working. Of course! Well, it didn't go quite like that. Really, I was feeling exhausted and sick, so it went more like: Mmmmm sleepy… but how can I turn down the opportunity?

So I went. We skidooed up as far as we could, and I only rolled the skidoo once, and the views were incredible--both out at the surrounding terrain, and in at the crater. Two amazing views in the same day--one from the air, one from right there at the rim.

[Bill and Rich work on the camera at the rim. Right on the rim. Mt. Discovery in background.]

[Junction of central crater and lower crater.]

[Looking away from the crater: Mt. Bird.]

I wish it were that simple. Simply, 'I saw amazing views and was amazed.' What really happened was that I didn't see much of anything. Or, I saw, but didn't look. Sometimes, this happens. In my case, I am lucky--there will be a next time.

[View of crater, with steaming lava lake. Note crater rim in foreground, and my shadow. That's quite a drop.]

Posted by beth at December 6, 2002 11:34 PM


what??? you saw but didn't look??? did you close your eyes when you took these pictures? through them i saw and i will look many times! the word "wow" seems to pop into my mind often as i read your blog! was this the first time you were physically at the rim? ...i'm still savoring your phone call! you sounded like you were calling from next door. makes the miles less distant. ah, technology!

Posted by: Wilma, mom of Beth at December 10, 2002 6:34 AM

Loving the pics!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: WW at December 11, 2002 6:00 AM