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25 November, 2000

A Special Day

When I woke at 5 am, the previous night's windstorm had abated and it was absolutely calm. I took advantage of the sunny morning and took a ski tour around camp and the skiway.

Bob, Gary, and I took the snowmobiles ten kilometers (6 mi) north to the G2 hole. This is one of four shallower holes that will be logged for temperature. I dug a pit in order to place a temperature sensor two meters (6.5 ft) down in the snow.

The weather was exceptional! It was sunny, with no wind, and the temperature rose almost to freezing. After finishing our tasks at G2, we sat for a while just enjoying the scene. It was absolutely silent with nothing but featureless snow in all directions.

Even though the calendar reads Saturday, November 25th, today is Thanksgiving at Siple Dome. I think the shift is done to minimize the impact on the workweek. The camp staff normally works six days and then is off on Sunday. Members of the science teams, referred to as beakers, seem to be working all the time. The intense work schedule is mainly due to their limited time in the field. When beakers aren't working it is usually because of poor weather, equipment problems, or the absence of a plane to take them to their field site.

Our Thanksgiving meal was a special event. It included traditional fare. Most people even changed from their normal cold weather attire for the occasion.

A. Terri Maddox is the camp cook. She does a great job. The food at Siple Dome is excellent and plentiful.

B. Tim Coffey is the camp manager. Here he is sculpting cranberries into a model of the Jamesways.

C. Andy Ellingson and Stephanie Koetze are members if the excellent staff at Siple Dome. They are enjoying a bit of leisure time before the big meal.

D. Thanksgiving dinner with the entire population of the Siple Dome field camp.

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