Today: Laundry in the station first thing in the morning, planning to exercise and shower after work. Meagan caught me at lunch with that conspiratorial look in her eyes. “Hey, after work” she whispered, “sledding at the berm near the Rodwells?”
Sure thing – it was Meagan who led us to the Ob Tube back in McMurdo, and was first to point out the cache of cross-country skis, so I’ve come to trust her sense of opportunity and adventure. I skipped out of work at 5:30 on the dot, met her at DZ, and we tromped out to the berm hauling a banana sled (an open-top curved shells with a few runners on the bottom, very much like those things you see ski-patrol folks dragging around).
A good part of a dozer driver’s job consists of pushing snow around into big – say 30 foot high – piles. How those piles are shaped is up to the discretion of the driver, and Meagan had fashioned this one into a short but nifty sledding hill. She apologized that it didn’t look quite as even now as it had in yesterday’s fog, when she’d sculpted it, but as long as we avoided the wall on the left and the trench on the right, we’d be fine.
First time down, I took front and she took rear of the sled. Aimed for the middle and pushed off. Right off the bat, the nose slewed left. Behind me, in a matter-of-fact voice, Meagan remarked “Oh damn. We’re gonna die.”
But we didn’t. We bounced handily off the wall, traversed the slope the other way, and clattered to a stop on the frozen tractor trail 100 feet downfield.
“Well, that was fun.”
We took two or three more runs, finding the hill to be tamer than it looked. We even aimed for the trench on the right for the final one, to very little actual effect. Great fun, no matter how you sliced it.
Then back to the station for a quick dinner (salmon with porcini risotto and steamed broccoli). An hour volunteering in the kitchen (hey – I like doing dishes!), then scrambled to catch post office hours, er “hour” (twice a week for one hour each), and off to play music with Trudy, Zondra, Elissa and Mark.
And then, suddenly, it was 9:30 p.m., and I’d neither run nor showered. Another crazy day at the Pole.