28 November, 1998

Saturday, November 28th, 1998

Hi and Happy Thanksgiving…well, not really, but this is the day we celebrated Thanksgiving in McMurdo. This way, many people got a two day weekend for once….not me…I spent most of today working! I'll get to that in a minute. One of the most fun things I did today was to try to explain "Thanksgiving" to my Italian friends. Remember, McMurdo may be a U.S. Research Station, but people from all over the world are here to work on scientific research. To many people, today was just another day. I know that as I thought of family and friends today, I realized that I have many things to be thankful for…not just today, but everyday! One of the biggest things to be thankful for today was THE LAST 10 BOXES OF CORE from the drill site.

I started my day with labeling samples and measuring susceptibility and worked on this HUGE project from 9:00 AM until lunch, and then again from 12:30 PM until 5:00 PM. I am glad we are at the end of the sampling process….I have labeled MANY MANY samples. (I'm going to get a total for you very soon!) We are just about out of space in the lab for trays of samples to be stored. The guys (Leo, Fabio, Andy, and Gary) are working round the clock to measure samples with the magnetometer.

Before going to Thanksgiving dinner I went back to the dorm to change. Many people chose this opportunity to dress up for dinner. When we arrived at the galley….the line was very long, but it was worth the wait! The tables were covered with REAL tablecloths, and there were decorations around the galley. The lights were dim and it was obvious that lots of people had worked VERY hard to make this a special occasion. I ate my Thanksgiving dinner with new friends from the Cape Roberts Project. Although this was GREAT, it felt very strange not to have family around today. I especially missed having children around…there are NO children in McMurdo. I stopped to think that I haven't seen a child or even very many young adults, in WEEKS! For a person who is used to being surrounded by children, this didn't feel right to me. I found myself missing home a lot today. I can't imagine what it would be like down here at Christmas time.

The traditional Thanksgiving feast was excellent. We had hardwood-smoked turkey, oven-roasted turkey, roast beef (carved to order), a vegetarian entrée, bread dressing with giblets, cornbread dressing, kumara (New Zealand sweet potato), mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, green bean casserole, peas and carrots, giblet gravy, vegetarian gravy, a variety of breads and rolls, and traditional pies (pastries and cakes, too!)

Many people brought bottles of wine to dinner and toasted the company of good friends and the holiday! I was stuffed, and I really missed watching football like we do at our house!

Not long after dinner, the paleomag team headed BACK to Crary Lab…we still had to work tonight. I don't think I've ever worked on Thanksgiving before. But, no one on my team (except Ken Verosub and he's gone) is from the United States….so Thanksgiving doesn't mean much to them. We drilled for two solid hours….7:30 until 9:30 PM….over 60 samples tonight! Fabio was in rare form and quite funny this evening. It made the time go much quicker! I was really tired by the end of the sampling. I also have a cold, which has turned into a bad cough, so that is wearing me out.

I've included a couple of pictures from today, but more of the photos are from yesterday's trip to Cape Royds, the Barnes Glacier, Cape Evans, and the ice caves. Hope you enjoy them! Talk to you tomorrow!

Betty :)

One of the many options if you didn't want turkey!

No, these are not tins of food used for our Thanksgiving dinner...they are left over stores of food, outside Shackelton's hut at Cape Royds.

Can you imagine, this table salt has been sitting outside of Shackelton's hut since 1908.

This sled reminded me of one pulled by sled dogs in the Iditarod race in Alaska.

I really couldn't decide which shot of the Barnes Glacier to send to you...they were all so neat to look at. Make sure that you check out my slide show, which I w ill be doing once I get home to Crystal Lake.

This is me....in the larger of the two ice caves on the Erebus Glacier tongue.

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