11 December, 1997
What a day again here in the dry valley, probably the toughest so far. Weather has just been uncooperative ( terable is a better discription). Awoke to a tent at 10 degrees F. I knew it would not be good when I could hear snow and sand mixed hitting the tent on an off through the night. I was correct, solid white outside and still snowing pretty hard. Pete and Lee had a morning Helo transfer but just no chance anything would be moving. When the snow stopped Keith and I decided we could at least survey a couple of more frozen streams. I really think that I put on every piece of clothing that I had brought to this small field camp. We fired up the ATV and traveled to the stream cite. No problems there. We did the measuring and loaded up and headed to the next one. We were walking up to the next one when trouble hit. I stepped through what Keith called a "Sucker Hole" into about 2 feet of water. An inch of snow was covering everything and I did not even see the ice at all. Wet leg again. I was wearing two pair of long underwear, jeans, insulated Northern bibs, wind jacket and heavy parka. I was only in for a second and jumped out before it had time to soak through but I had a wet foot and my bibs and parka instantly froze. I was OK and we finished the work and headed to camp, turned up the stove and thawed me out. Got my wet clothes off and they dried out while we fixed lunch. I have learned to keep an extra pair of mittens and sox in zip-locked bags in my pocket for just such emergencies. It paid off this time. Keith and I finished our work in the afternoon, the snow had quit and the Helo came in and picked up our partners. My stream sampling has been "frozen out" so to speak. Hope for better ( warmer) weather. I'm still OK and doing fine.
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