Monday, July 24, 2006


Today Cheri introduced us to Jim who is another Ice person she
wintered with in 2001. Jim lives in Glade Park which is nearby
Grand Junction and just outside Colorado National Monument.
In the summer of 2000-2002 Jim had the opportunity to work
for a month helping rehab Vostok Station. Vostok is the Russian
station on the Polar Plateau that recorded a world record low
temperature in 1983 of -129 Fahrenheit. He was there in the
summer so it only got down to about -30 Fahrenheit. He had
some great stories to tell about the Russians and what an
interesting place Vostok is. Apparently the Russians like vodka,
women and cigarettes...usually in that order. I've met a few of
these Russians at McMurdo and they are definitely a unique
bunch. They are everything they are usually stereotyped to be.
Usually when they enter one of the bars, the women all
leave. Subtleness apparently is not their expertise. Even though
Vostok is the premier Russian station on the plateau, it's very
antiquated and things break constantly. A few years ago, we
took a tour of a small building at Scott Base that the Kiwis have
kept as a museum of sorts, everything just as it was in the late
1950's. The guide told us to take a good look at the old, worn
out equipment...Vostok looks exactly like that today!

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