Mountains of bacon and rivers of chocolate!

Sound like paradise? Well, it exists here in McMurdo at the Berg Field Center. This is where we spent much of our day today, familiarizing ourselves with the Food Room at the BFC (which, of course, is stocked with many more goodies beyond bacon and chocolates!) and with the contents of our kitchenware kits, stove kits, and sleeping kits. This is in preparation for the overnight “shake down” trip that we will be taking next week, when we will have a chance to try out all our gear. And we began the somewhat daunting process of planning for the “Food Pull” next week, when we will pick out all of the food that we will be taking with us for 6 weeks in the field – hard to believe that we will each be going through a few pounds of butter during that time! We will expend so much energy just to keep warm, that all of this butter and bacon and chocolates will be easily metabolized. I know this from experience, being one of the ANSMET veterans that Katie mentioned yesterday. I had participated in the 1992-93 ANSMET season – it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and possibly one of the best learning experiences that I had as a graduate student. I am back two decades later, and thrilled to be here again.

As I write this, it is almost midnight and the Sun is shining brightly through the large windows that overlook the Ross Ice Shelf in the library on the top floor of the Crary Science and Engineering Center. It is only our second day here in McMurdo, and what with all of the briefings andtasks at hand, it is sometimes easy to forget that we are in this uniquely and awesomely beautiful place! So it was nice to end the day today with a hike on the trail around Observation Hill, from where we had panoramic views of the mountains, glaciers and dry valleys surrounding McMurdo. We even saw several Weddell seals and their pups. Paradise on Earth? Yes, indeed!

Mini Wadhwa, 1st December 1, 2012, McMurdo Station

The Berg Field Center

Trying out FartSacks (sleeping bags)

Circumnavigating Observation Hill

Seals of approval (from a distance)

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