Saturday, February 12, 2011

Report from Deadhorse Alaska 2-12-11


This morning the temperature was 37 below zero with a chill factor of 63 below zero. My friend Jared felt it necessary to take my picture with his cell phone, so I had him grab my camera out of my backpack and take one for me, too.

This is the coldest temperature I have endured so far, though my alternate has suffered through several days of more than 40 below zero temps. It almost gives me a guilty conscience that he gets the worst of the temps.

When it is this cold, we have to leave our vehicle running all night long. The good thing about that is that I don't have to get all dressed in this gear to go start the truck and then come back in and take it all back off to go have breakfast just to put it all back on. It's an effort getting all
this stuff on. But, when I get in my nice warm truck, I have to roll down the windows to keep from having a heat stroke. Outside in these clothes, I am comfortable except for any exposed skin (my face) which immediately hurts, and the area of my legs between the top of my boots and the bottom of my coat.

The bad part about running the truck all night is that it has to be fueled every other day and it is no fun standing in these temps pumping gas!

The "ensemble" for today: Long underwear, long sleeve t-shirt, hoodie, jeans and two pairs of socks (one pair of knee socks and one pair of arctic socks) then my 50 below zero boots with thinsulate liners. On top of all that, a neck scarf, gloves and my arctic coat that weighs (not kidding) 20 pounds, and safety glasses. It takes me a while just to get the coat on, then
zipping it is another challenge because it's so bulky, I can't see the zipper which has two pulls and they won't stay still...sigh. Fortunately, I am fine in my regular parka till it gets around 20 below.

When I backed out of my parking place after running the truck all night, I ran over a turtle. Now, before you get excited, "turtles" are turtle-shaped and sized mounds of ice that form on the ground under your exhaust pipe. They look like big white turtles and are serious tripping hazards. They are all over the place. I'll try to get a picture of one. Today is my second favorite day of every rotation...the day before I head home again. Tomorrow will be my favorite day....Flyday.

From the Arctic Circle............I remain,  Deadhorse Connie


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