posted 12/24/2005 02:35:00 PM UTC+12, McMurdo Local Time
Christmas eve update
Thursday the first C-17 in a month or two came in, Jody and I ended up driving out to Pegasus to refuel it. Unfortunately, nobody told either of us that the road from McMurdo out to Pegasus had been closed to regular vehicle traffic... Boy am I glad that truck has four wheel drive and big snow tires! Most of the way out, I had the speedo at about 35-40 miles per hour, but was probably moving more in the neighborhood of 20, and was continually on the edge of getting stuck even at that. Basically it was one 10 mile long snowbogging adventure, and fortunatley one without getting stuck either way. On the way back as we were approaching a delta from the rear, the delta driver gave us a call on the radio that went something like "Fuelies on the Pegasus road - Looks like you've got your thing going, let me know what to do so I don't get in the way and slow you guys down!" We responded on the radio above the sound of a revving engine to have the delta pull off to the side. Managed to pass him without having to slow down or go off the road, which surely would have gotten us stuck instantly. Apparently that one prompted a bit of laughter back at fuels control. Good times.
Friday we finished with reeling up the ice runway hose and had fleet ops pull out a culvert pipe we had used for making a bridge over it, so now there's nothing left of the ice runway except for a bit of dirty ice from the LC-130s exhaust and dirt that was tracked out from town. Even all of that dirty snow is now covered up with snow, so you can't even see anything out there. Hopefully there will soon be water where the runway was, can't wait to see that.
Our fuelie Christmas party got started around 3pm Friday evening after we got off work early for the holidays. Had a good time at that, played some fun games, ate some good food, and of course plenty fun conversation. At one point the toaster oven we were using to cook little pizza things with got a bit smokey, so I grabbed my gloves, and started carrying it to the door so the smoke alarm (and automatic fire suppression system) wouldn't go off. On the way out, Scott had a brilliant idea and we ended up cooking on Doc's work table underneath an exhaust hood. Nothing like industrial cooking! The heavy shop was putting on their giant Christmas party Friday evening as well, so after a few hours at the fuels barn, we migrated over to Seth and Bodie's room for a bit, then over to the heavy shop. That get together was a lot bigger and louder (typical of the heavy shop I guess,) but still fun nevertheless.
This morning I had to get up and take Scharen out to fuel the generators at Pegasus and Willy Fields, as well as add a new valve onto our fueling system at Pegasus. Things went pretty smoothly, but due to our warm weather lately the roads were a bit squishy so I had to go pretty slow. Not sure what this evening will bring, but I'm at the coffee shop right now and might just spend the rest of the evening over here.