Long run yesterday. We woke up to calm beautiful weather and we thought we might make the 330 miles to Summit in one day. Even under the best of circumstances, that’s a long run though. We all started to get pretty cold, tired, and in Zoe’s case slap-happy about 70 miles (2.5 hrs riding) outside Summit. My machine ran out of gas again so we had to stop to refuel. Halfway through fueling, I asked how excited everyone was for showers at Summit and got only staring at the ground, blinking eyes for a response. The bumping and hard rattling of the dunes we’d been driving over all day had clearly done their job. Though the consequences of falling asleep at the handlebars on the vast expanse of the ice sheet may be relatively low, it was clear that we needed to stop so we wouldn’t find out more about them. Luckily we’ve gotten pretty good at putting up camp and were tucked tight in our bags 25 minutes after we decided to stop.
This morning we got up, packed up the tent and headed the last miles in to summit. Seeing camp on the horizon, I stopped consulting my GPS, made a bearing for a bit north of camp (to catch the runway outside the clean air sector) and drove on. Things didn’t make sense though, and eventually we all realized that summit crew has put up a spike camp about 10 km out of the main camp for another project. Some hasty turning can be seen in our trackers as we figured out what was going on and went back to trusting our GPS. Back inside the big house, we’ve raided the leftovers fridge (heavily) – mmm turkey pot pie, began re-filling our fuel cans, worked on packing science gear, and took a sauna. A lot of work has happened around camp while we’ve been gone and the place looks open for the season now!
Flights permitting we got back just in the nick of time. Zoe departs tomorrow to go give Teague a big hug for us all and take back over being momma. We’re picking her brain for last tips and pointers, and will be testing some of the science gear with her in the morning before she takes off. We’ll definitely miss her cracking us all up, but are glad she’s getting to balance field work with Teague time.