8 August, 2001
I am in the cold state of New Hampshire for training to venture into the Arctic. The temperatures are freezing at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Actually, our training is taking place in the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL). It is a series of buildings located in the city of Hanover which is nestled in the rolling Green mountains. It is maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers. However, the people at CRREL are common citizens in the form of researchers and scientists.
We were taken on a tour of CRREL today. We were guided through hallways with pictures and papers of past Arctic and Antarctic explorations. We exited buildings into the heat and entered into a warehouse with an intensifying ammonia smell. Some of the research that is being currently conducted varies from techniques to break up ice on rivers to designing roadways to sustain freezing conditions. One test is able to accelerate road usage at the rate of 20 years in 2 weeks.
Our tour ended walking out of the sweltering heat of August into the freezer section. We were able to have our first true feeling of the Arctic cold. As I stepped into the freezer, my inadequate clothing was soon recognized as goose bumps appeared on my skin. Our stay was short today at -24 degrees. However, I realize that my stay in the Arctic cold will be longer in the upcoming year! Perhaps, I should began by practicing sleeping in a big freezer! I will make that order in to Sears.
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