14 January, 1997
>1/14/97 7:21 Finally, we have some sunshine. > >McMurdo reached me by radio this morning to tell me that the disks I was >sending were not saving in the format for delivery. That means Jon and I >will have to figure out what is wrong. It also means that I won't have >time to write much about today and yesterday. > >We got helicopter support yesterday and were able to go to the Don Juan >Pond area. The helicopter left us at a flat spot near the top of a nearby >mountain. Our plan was to go down the mountain and collect samples. After >a while of walking and looking we found the there was only one way down, >and that was a very steep scree (loose rock) slope. It is never pleasant >walking on this stuff, espcecially with a pack filled with rock. > >We also had a National Geographic photographer with us to take photos. > >After struggling for hours down the slope, collecting as we went along, we >finally made it to Don Juan Pond---but no helicopter was there. It was >cold and a bit windy so we had to exercise our tired backs some more. >Finally, two hours later, we got a ride back to camp. On our way back the >pilot was a little worried about the clouds ahead of us, he thought we >might have to go back to McMurdo and stay there. I definitely did not want >to go back to civiization yet. > >Today started out well, but the helicopter ran into some bad weather and >had to take us to Vanda Lake, in Victoria Valley. Our collecting there was >much more difficult than the day before. With only Bruce, Mike, Jon, and I >carrying all but one or two rocks you can imagine how heavy our packs were. > > >But everyday is worth the struggle. The scenery around us just never quits. > >I want to apologize to anyone who has sent questions or comments. I still >have not received any disks from McMurdo.Return to Bill Philips' Page
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