12 December, 2002
This morning started out calm and downright warm. It's funny how quickly 25 degrees F feels like a warm day. This reminds me of the college students at Western State University in Gunnison, CO who play volleyball in t-shirts and shorts when the temperature rises above 20 degrees F.
However, by the time we reached Goodwin Nunatak, the temperature had dropped to -2 degrees F and the wind was blowing. This was the first time we would systematically search for meteorites. Prior to today, we would just fan out and randomly search areas that had already been searched in previous years. Today we lined up our ski-doo's at equal distances apart and drove in relatively straight lines looking for meteorites in our lanes. This sounds a lot easier than it is. It seems like every time I looked up I had drifted closer to Danny or farther from Linda. It almost took more concentration to stay in formation than to watch for meteorites. I'm sure that the ANSMET rookies drove Jamie and Nancy crazy. By the end of this field season, we'll operate like a well-oiled machine.
I've tried this kind of searching before with the Denver Museum Meteorite Recovery Team. We hiked a short grass prairie in eastern Colorado looking for meteorites and wound up drifting and criss-crossing each other's paths. One member of the team tested our ability to pick out a meteorite from the field by tossing a Snickers bar in the middle of our search. The Snickers was never recovered.
Despite our difficulty with staying in formation, we managed to recover 32 meteorites. That brings our total up to 91 in just four days of searching. We finished Goodwin Nunatak today, and will begin packing up camp tomorrow for our traverse to MacAlpine Hills. This will take place on Saturday, weather permitting.
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