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January 1, 2003

New Year

We're never getting out of here!!

This morning our helos were on hold due to weather. Our weather was not flyable, but it was workable. Still, we waited to see if we could get the helo tasks done. At lunchtime, the helos were called off for the day. Then, of course, the weather went bad. Cards were played, and we watched "Big." In the afternoon, Bill decided it would be good to do some work at our backyard site, LEH, to gear up for a trip to site Cones. Bill, Nelia, Rich E., and I got decked out in our full gear, no skin showing, and stepped outside. Then, we stood outside, about 15 feet from the hut door. We looked at each other. We looked around us. We didn't see very far. We saw snow blowing around us. Bill decided there was too much snow blowing for the task at hand.

After dinner, Nelia and Bill went back out for a second attempt at fixing up LEH. The attempt was successful. Rich and I donned our gear, again with no skin showing. Handwarmers in. Ice axes and packs on skidoos. Vrrrrrm, vrrrrrrrrmmmmmm. Off to Cones!

Around us, the world varied between solid white and milky white. For the second time on this route, my eyes were glued to the snow at the base of Nelia's skidoo--the only way I could see the tracks. We were very tightly clustered. Bill lead, often standing to try to make out the tracks. A ladder was fastened across the front of his skidoo. I could see Nelia bracing against the wind in front of me.

We made it about 3/4 of the way there. It was a good attempt. When we stopped, Nelia said, "My face is freezing." "Turn back?" "Turn back."

We even stopped on the way home for a thumb warm-up. We all agreed that it was a fun little adventure, and a good excuse to get out of the hut. But I don't think any of us were too disappointed that we didn't make it all the way to Cones. Brrrrrrr.

So we watched "The Crow." The second one. It was visually interesting, but the plot and message were narrow. Kill to avenge, and it really didn't go deeper than that. Unless I'm missing something. Very possible. Still, an interesting movie.

The wind's picked up since we got back. Gusts up to a little over 30 knots, and lots of snow moving. Sarah's sleeping in the hut tonight. I'm about to retreat to my tent. My departure to McMurdo keeps getting pushed back. I was gearing up to head down tomorrow, and was getting excited about it, but I've decided to stay on up here until the rest of the gang goes down. I'll still have work to do from McMurdo, and will likely just stay on longer than they do. I'll be starting to think about travelling in New Zealand (and possibly 'vicinity'), so if you have suggestions for must-sees or stellar pubs or secret get-aways, let me know. Also, go ahead and post your new years stories on my NY entry!

Hope everyone's enjoying the fresh beginnings of the new year. My mind is in just-another-day mindset, so appologies for lack of philisophizings. I will say, though, that reflection is good and change is good and the turnover to the new year is a good time for these things.

May you find nice weather,


Posted by beth at January 1, 2003 10:30 PM