23 October, 1998
Well, today is the day that we were supposed to fly to the ice, but it was cancelled until Saturday or Sunday. It turns out that the group scheduled to leave today was at breakfast and had already returned from the CDC, saying that the flights today were cancelled also. This will push our flights back another day. So goes the life of a scientist...relying on weather and unforeseen circumstances. For some of these researchers, it is very hard to get delayed so often because they wrote grants and received money to do specific things in the Antarctic. They are on a very tight time schedule. My team has many things to do once we get to McMurdo, but for now we will enjoy Christchurch.
Today, John rented a car, and we all drove 1-1/2 hours inland to Arthur's Pass in the Southern Alps to see if we could get up to a glacier. Betty Trummel, another TEA parcticipant with another team, joined us for the day. The scenery here is spectacular. Snow-covered mountains surrounding sheep, cow, and deer farms-- pine forests breaking into green meadows-- many flowers and bulbs blooming-- and unbelievable gorges, valleys, and braided rivers. It's quite breathtaking, especially at the top of the pass where we had a panaromic view of the entire region. Our hike was a whole day event. It was well worth it. We ate a quick dinner at the Dux Lux again. [We actually did go to a different restaurant the first night-- Mythai Restaurant with great Thai food!]. The guys on my team had a co-Antarctic research friend, Dr. Mike Lizotte, giving a talk at the museum tonight, so we attended his lecture on Antarctic sea ice at 7:30 pm. The talk was very interesting. He is trying to determine whether carbon is being absorbed or given off around the Antarctic continent. It is important to know the various places in the world where there are carbon sinks and places in the world that actually contribute carbon to the atmosphere. This all contributes to the phenomenon known as global warming and what type of effect global warming will have on our earth.
I did laundry when I got back to the hotel. Since I packed light for the Christchurch stayover, my only pair of jeans were muddy from the day of hiking. Again we wait to go to a colder place.
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