Thursday, November 15, 2007

Haven't packed yet, still making piles

Its the week before I get on the plane to ChCh (better known as Christchurch New Zealand), and I still haven't packed, just piled my stuff into things to take to the field (not quite like piling rope to catch a Helo, above). Piles include papers, books and other reading material that might help me make progress writing my dissertation. That's right, I am going to do some writing while I am in Antarctica. But, not at the expense of good field work or beautiful days- I see the end of the dissertation tunnel and may feel like writing some day in the cookshack when my tent is battered by katabatics...

My piles are two now: one Antarctic, one Kilimanjaro... and I'm not even sure that the second pile will be used yet, I am still keeping my fingers crossed that all the permits, etc. work out. Becki and I were just talking about all the non-science that goes on before science can occur.

What great fortune to be able return to the Dry Valleys. I've never been there for Christmas, this will be an earlier trip than my previous 2... and the landscape changes so much with the onset of melt. I saw Ann Curry from the Today show huddling next to the Canada Glacier at my/our field camp and it looked so bleak and white. I am taking video this season- to capture the scale of it all... you can hear the melt streams running next to your tent and wake to something bigger than you believed possible, something quite close to paradise.