Rescued from Miller Range

11/30/2016

Yesterday we finally left Miller Range. During the morning phone call to MacOps for the updated flight agenda, a seemingly fruitless task every morning at 7AM (and every 30 minute interval following until the flights were finally cancelled), we got the word during the two flights were coming for us. The previous week had left us feeling skeptic that any flights would actually arrive, but at 9:30AM there were suddenly two Twin Otter planes and Evan, our guide, to help us tear down camp. We woke up thinking we would likely be staying another night and by afternoon we were unloaded at Shackleton Camp. I need to shout out for Shackleton Camp. This is a deep field support camp that is established every few years. It was put in last year and will have its final summer season next year. There are six people based there to run all aspects of camp operations, weather observations, field coordinating, cargo logistics, equipment mechanics, and a chef for meals. On top of the skeleton crew, there are two additional personnel (pilot and first officer) for each plane currently located at the camp. There is the perfect amount of infrastructure in place. We were issued a tent each that was already put up, like a clean and warm sanctuary. The galley building is heated with the chef creating delicious warm meals. There are privacy pee holes and toilet shacks. The best part by far was taking a hot shower (though no soap) and putting on clean clothes. So amazing to finally comb out my hair and not smell like the previous four weeks of no bathing. This is the longest I have gone with no bathing. I have been out on excursions many a time, but never where there is no opportunity to jump in a lake or river for rinsing off. We were only in Shackleton for a quick overnight, but it was a super morale booster. Now it is November 30th and we are in the stunning Lillie Range next to Gabbro Hills with camp set up on a pillowy snow-covered glacier. What a life.


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