Monday, July 18, 2005

Mining Camp

When people ask, "What is McMurdo like?" One popular comparison
is a combination mining camp/college town. Having spent a summer
here and several winters, I get the feeling that summer is the college
town and winter is the mining camp. In the winter there is a special
starkness, a bleakness that makes everything look like it came out
of another century. Many of the buildings give you the feeling that
Shackleton or Scott might just greet you at the door. Other buildings
have that Cold War (pun intended) feeling and instead of McMurdo,
it could be a factory town near Irkutsk or a gulag in the Urals. It's
not that rough obviously. Eating three square meals a day, 70 degree
room temperatures and watching the reruns on tv bring you back to
the 21st century pretty quickly. But at least looking at scenes like this
help your mind think of simpler, albeit rougher times.

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