18 July, 2000

July 18, 2000

This morning we broke camp. Everything was packed and prepared for the helicopter lift to McCarthy. The only items that will not be flown off the glacier include 21 survey reflectors, 3 GPS units, Dennis Trabant's surveying equipment, about a dozen data loggers in boreholes and the lake, and the personal camping gear for Dennis and Michelle Cunico both of whom will continue the surveying until the lake drains. After the gear was packed we waited for the helicopter. The helicopter was a few hours late. We had no way of knowing this (phone communication is not a simple thing on the glacier), so we spent much of the afternoon staring at the horizon to the south toward McCarthy, straining our ears to hear the first sounds of the helicopter chopping the air. PSU grad student Don Lindsay was parcticularly nervous he had to get off the glacier today in order to make his connecting flights back home to his new job. We finished moving stuff off the glacier by 9:30 PM. Work does not follow any type of a fixed schedule out here. There is no such thing as 9 to 5. When the equipment is available and running well (in this case a helicopter), the task is done to completion. At 9:30 we headed for the Wrangell Mountain Center in McCarthy where the Anderson's (Bob and Suzanne U.C. Santa Cruz researchers) had arranged for 4 pizzas to be waiting for us. What a treat it was. And for some of us we experienced our first shower in 3 weeks.

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