Friday, June 22, 2007

Solstice

Yesterday was the summer solstice, the first day of summer by the astronomical calendar. Matt, Ryan and I celebrated by digging out a stuck ATV (stuck in snow not mud, very unsummer) and finished off by digging the rest of the snow out (about 50meters worth, some 1-2meters deep) to make a path along the road to the creek to get fresh water. Later that afternoon Matt and I trekked by ATV and foot to Trinity Lake to retrieve the ATV we had cached there for use when snowmobiles were still in vogue on Devon but some of our science sites had melted. This trip home for the ATV involved almost as much lifting and pushing and dragging through snow as driving, but we got the ATV and trailer back to the Hab. For all this effort (and for me sore muscles, but Matt is a superman for those that haven't seen his photo) the island rewarded us with shattercones, which are very cool rocks that only form from meteorite impacts and nuclear explosions. I have a particularly nice one for my desk back at work. It will join the selenite from Utah and the stromatolite from Montana that Medicine Wolf gave me on C22 as the prides of my engineering sample collection. I hope to find some more stromatolite on Devon too, for both Richard and Elaine. Also the solstice rings in my two month anniversary on Devon.

At this point I would like to thank my Mom and Dad not only for the book on rocks and minerals, but for allowing us to have ATV's as a child and young adult. Growing up in sub-suburban and rural Texas really prepared me for this adventure and taught me a lot of what you can, can't, and shouldn't do on an ATV. In addition to the surly IT guy on this gig, I'm also the sometimes surly ATV mechanic and the kind and forgiving ATV trainer.

But I know why you are all really here. After one last note - Paul (again my genetic brother, not pauloutwest) just FYI, the crew will be throwing you a birthday party next week, happy 37! Send me some email bro and let me know how P's ball team did/is doing. It sucks that the 'Horns lost out in the NCAA regionals this year too!

Haughton River in melt looking north
(this is where the "Santa" photo was taken a couple of months back)


Looking South


Arctic gull on a dive bomb mission over James (he missed...)



The gull after it realizes that James packs 30-06 AAA


OK Paul, here is that bear sign
(very old and far away Mom)


The last snowmobile ride



12:12am (this is as dark as it gets folks)


The "road" to Trinity Creek

Arctic bluebonnets on brechia (another impactite)

(last two photos courtesy Matt Bamsey)

4 comments:

Claudia said...

Hey James,
we just got back from a weekend in Houston and Galveston Island state park. Went to the space center, Lars had a blast, he still wants to be an Astronaut, he liked the shuttle mock up the best. He needs to get over his fear of heights though. Anika had fun too. Then we spend two days in the park, of course today we got sun burned. We caught some crabs, the kids loved the beach. Maybe next year we all can go down there. Can't wait for you to get home.
We miss ya

Paul said...

Hey guys...wanted to thank all of you for celebrating my birthday for me. I'm sure I probably did enough celebrating this past weekend for all of you guys...lol. Things here are great, still thinking of you guys daily. Prestons baseball is over and done with, no all-stars this year, but he SHOULD have made it. I guess maybe next year after he knows more people in this new league he'll make it. He went the entire regular season without striking out once...that's seriously cool in my book!
Anyway, again, thanks for the wishes, but I'm fixin to go to Liberty to get my banana pudding!!! lol.

take care and love ya Bo!!

Me.

Dad said...

Jim, Glad that you were actually watching and learning the in's and out's of working on the ATV's and cars motors,trans's and brake's of the various vehicles that we owned. Hard work never hurt anyone, also, glad you that you have retained those lessons(Ha-Ha) Glad all is O.K. with you and all of your team mates. You didn't tell me that you had to collect your own drinking water? Must be a real chore, also what do you collect it in? Yes, today is your brothers birthday. I remember every detail and also the look of joy on your mother's face the day that both of you boys were born,it is my happiest memories of my life,bar none. Also, I want go into what you both looked like at that time, those are my real special memories. Well, must go, so thke care and write as often as you can. Love, Dad

Paul said...

Oh, I meant to say...that "bear sign"??? Dude, that must have been like a BABY bear or some crap....I wanna see something REAL lol!!

Love ya 'Bo....

Me.