Well, up until now, I’ve been able to write journal entries on my computer each day and then marshal all that into blog posts that I put up retroactively. I’m afraid I’m going to truly fall behind now because the last two days have been AMAZING and I haven’t been able to journal much because I’ve been so busy! Just seconds after I finished posting on Thursday afternoon, I got an email letting me know I was going to be able to jump on a tour of the Discovery Hut that evening. So I nipped back to my dorm quickly to throw on ECW issued long underwear, windproof overalls, wool socks, etc because the last time I’d gone out there, it had been FREEZING and I’d been far too cold in just long underwear and jeans.
Then when I got back, I peeled off the ECW and jumped into jeans, a nice sweater and *gasp* make-up and managed to just catch the 8pm shuttle to Scott Base’s bar – I think it’s technically called The Tatty Flag – for “Yank Night”. Not only was this my first proper view of Erebus, our neighborhood volcano, but it also afforded me an opportunity to sniff around Scott Base a little bit which is much smaller, much cleaner, and in generally better nick than McMurdo. Then I came home and *double gasp* shaved my legs. If you’ve ever lived somewhere with water rationing, you know what an ordeal this is and that it requires you set aside a good chunk of time. (And I realize not all of this will sound exciting to you but little comforts are a big deal down here.)
This morning, I overslept so I missed the damn post office being open – it’s open twice a week, Wednesdays from 1200-1400 and Fridays from 0730-0930. So you really have to thread the needle on that one. And thus postcards will have to wait to be mailed. So I threw on laundry instead, then went to get food as they were just starting to serve lunch. Then I moved my laundry into the dryer and clambered back into my ECW for a much anticipated hike out to the Ice Runway and back. It’s only about 4 miles but holy hell it was harder work than walking the Stanford Dish. It was unbelievably gorgeous though, and well worth the effort. Then home to rescue my laundry from the dryer, shower (and you can bet it felt amazing), and have dinner. After dinner, I went to check in with Russell to confirm my start time tomorrow and BOY am I glad I did! Turns out, he was meant to have told me to come in at 0800 tomorrow, not 1100! So it’ll be a slightly earlier night for me but let me tell you, I’m fully exhausted from the hike so that’s fine with me! Also, after all the care I took in making sure I packed sunscreen, I can’t believe I didn’t wear it on my first actual hike. If you know me, you know it takes a LOT to make me burn (thank you, gene pool)…we’re talking two or three hours in direct sunlight at LEAST. I wasn’t in direct sunlight for more than a half hour at the end of the hike so yeah, that ozone layer hole? That’s no joke. I’ll not be forgetting to put it on again…
Anyway, I’ve just been invited for Firefighters’ Drinks at Southern Exposure (one of our two bars) tonight – I’ve to be in bed by 2200 so I should be running along to that but I promise there will be lots more pictures to come…to the point you will be sick of the pictures and for that I truly apologize. But I doubt I’ll be able to stop taking pictures because I never get tired of looking at the view.