Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Good Day


There haven't been a lot of good days lately, so
when one does come along, it's certainly worth
noting. I got up this morning and received a
call from our friend Deb, that lives in Vermont.
She was my first boss on the Ice and she's having
her 60th birthday party in March and wanted to
invite Lynn (it's an all-girls party). She
can't go since we'll be in NZ, but it was nice
to hear her voice. Next, I talked to my Mom back
in Indiana. Although it's been a miserably bad
winter weather-wise, it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit
when I talked to her. Always fun to talk to Mom!
Then I talked to Lynn for a while. Less than 2
weeks til I'm in Christchurch! Yay! For someone
who doesn't like to talk on the phone...I sure
did a lot of it. After helping Kaska with the
first big transport of the season...about a 100
people leaving...I started walking down the hill
toward home. I hear this rumbling coming up the
road and it's my friend Tony driving in a Pisten
Bully. It's a small enclosed snow-cat sort of
vehicle. He's the head of the MEC which is
responsible for all of the equipment that the
scientists use while they're here. He had to
go to Castle Rock to move some snow around so
he asked if I wanted to hop in and go. Sure,
I said and off we went.


I had never been to Castle Rock during the day.
Only last winter I went there in a Tucker
(another track-type vehicle), so it was a treat
of sorts...kind of a mini-boondoggle. I'm way
to lazy to walk the 7 mile Castle Rock Loop so
getting a ride there is definitely the best
option. The first half mile though was hellish
since most of the snow in that part of the trail
had melted and big ruts formed the trail.
Picture a ski mogul run without the snow.
However, soon we were on the path and were
climbing to the top of the trail. The view from
Castle Rock is pretty amazing. Even if it was
a cloudy day, you can easily see for a hundred
miles. Tony even drove around where we could
see open water just north of Cape Evans and
All of the islands in the area. The view
looking the other way is just as amazing as
you can see the Trans-Antarctic Mountains and
the cluster of buildings that makes up Williams
Field. The way down is really steep and I'm
glad that I was in a vehicle and not walking it.
We saw the Kiwi A-Frame from above...which I've
also never seen in the daylight and got a good
view of the Kiwi Ski Hill.
When I got home, I was just in time for "John
Simonson Appreciation Day". John is a longtime
ATO cargo guy and several folks in the department
felt he has never gotten the recognition he
deserves. Lots of Sushi made by Sam and Molly,
BBQ Scallops wrapped in bacon by Hooch and a
good time had by all. A great wrap up to a good
day!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom, several times I made that trip to Castle Rock Loop with Anne DalVera, grooming the trail for skiers with a Pisten Bully. We could see the USCG Polar Sea way out on the horizon. Wonderful!!

former Shuttle Sharon

the delightful said...

wow tom. that's like the best day EVER! good days are hard to come by this late in the season. i'm glad you found one! and i'd like to meet this tony fellow you mention.....maybe you could arrange a meeting?