9 July, 2000
We're Getting Ready to Go Home
The camp is very busy today. Everyone is packing boxes and hauling them to large metal pallets where they will be stacked and wrapped for shipping. We need to pack all research equipment except some minimal equipment being left for the winter over crew. It appears that with the exception of Dr. Jack Dibbs, no one else that is presently conducting research at Summit will be back next year. The Swiss group will have radiation monitoring equipment and their 50 meter tower that will be the focus of next year's research. The current groups may visit next year to attend to their equipment but no research camp will be established as rumor has it. It will be sad to say goodbye to everyone.
Nick and I packed all our equipment for shipping and rearranged our monitoring station. Nick will probably reconfigure it again. He has a habit of redoing everything twice. At least all our equipment is packed. All we really need to do is haul it to the Main house where the pallets are located. Packing the pallets will take all day tomorrow because not every piece of equipment will fly back with us to the United States. There is only so much room on a C130 Merk and priority equipment will be shipped first. The remaining equipment will be shipped later in the week. We may have a cold flight home on Thursday because we may be bringing back ice cores. If that is the case, I'll be suited in winter gear with my sleeping bag in arms when I arrive in New York. Nick is more worried about his visa status. His passport was stamped to fly into Greenland because he flew on a commercial airline. We are returning on a military flight and he will not have any official documentation of his return because we do not go through customs. I never thought of that being a US citizen. I'm sure he'll be fine.
I dug my last snow pit today. Matt Arsenault dug a 4 meter (12+ foot) snow pit to study the layers of the snow to determine how much accumulation occurred during the past 6 years. I dug a 2 meter snow pit adjacent to Matt's with approximately 20 cm of snow between the two pits. Tomorrow, when the sun shines directly into Matt's pit, I will get into my pit and cover the hole so no sunlight can enter. The sun will shine through the snow wall between the 2 pits and display a blue glow in the snow in my pit. This is called a back pit. It is often used to show stratification (layers) of snow. The blue color is the reflection of sunlight through the snow. Only the blue wavelength of light is visible. All other light is absorbed. This is very similar to why the ocean is blue and crevasses are blue in color. Hopefully my camera can capture this beauty. I've seen pictures and it looks awesome.
Two more days and what are we going to do? No science to occupy our time. Tomorrow will be busy with packing but what about Tuesday. Our flight back to Kangerlussauq is schedule to leave Summit at 7:00 pm.-a whole day with nothing to do. Oh my. I've never had a problem occupying my time. I'll be busy working out, skiing and enjoying the company of my new friends but what will they do?
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