3 April, 2001
We went to bed in blizzard conditions. We were nice and warm in our sleeping bags! We actually slept about 7 hours. We were moving pretty slowly this morning. I took a picture outside our window looking toward the ocean at the fishing boats. The wind is pretty brutal but visibility is much better than yesterday. We had a quick dehydrated breakfast (not too healthy but do-able and tasty at the moment) and then bundled up for the weather. Lee and I decided to walk to the school. It took about 30 minutes to walk to the school. By the time we had arrived, we had walked through deep snowdrift, falling snow, and wind making visibility difficult. I was sweating by the time I pulled my cold weather gear off. I figured we burned up our breakfast!
Lee shared some video footage of our science trip with the children before lunch. I shared Tennessee salamanders by reading the book titled The Great Smokey Mountain Salamander Ball, and observing a small plastic salamander collection. After lunch in the cafeteria, I worked with the children in the computer lab with an Internet search. I also had a chance to visit with third graders. They asked me lots of questions and I asked them questions as well. It was a fun visit with the children.
After the children left, we were quickly alerted that our plane was arriving within an hour to take us to Nome. We had been uncertain as to whether we would be flying due to wind and visibility. Things had settled down quite a bit weather wise. We packed and said good-byes in a speedy manner heading promptly toward the airplane on snowmobiles. Things were going great until we hit a snowdrift and took a roll. Lee and I were on the snowmobile that was attached to the trailer full of suitcases and bags. The whole thing rolled over to the side and the back of the snow machine landed on me. Lee and the driver quickly got the snow machine off my body. I was so padded with clothes as well as laying in snow that I was just fine, totally unhurt.
We rode the snow machines right to the plane and within 10 minutes we were on board and the door was closed. No extensive baggage check or arriving an hour early for departure! We actually pulled right up to the door of the plane and climbed the stairs. The ride took about an hour and then we arrived in Nome.
Nome has about 4,000 people and is best known for itís historical gold mining. This coming Monday is the 100th Anniversary of the town. There was no settlement here. It was founded by prospectors. There were native people nearby but not actually living here. The town has 3 roads 50 miles long but the roads do not connect anywhere else in the state. It is very warm compared to where we have been the last few weeks. We stopped by the grocery store. I saw several people in shorts. Outside the snowplows have moved the snow in the road to the middle. We walked to dinner in parkas and we had 1-2 layers of clothing underneath. There was definitely BALMY weather outside.
I prepare to leave for Diomede tomorrow. I am hoping to make a day trip if the weather permits.
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