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16 July, 2001

Riding in the big silver tube. The Herc

One of my big questions was what will it really like in the Herc? I was excited but had trepidation too. How cold will it be? How long will the ride be? How uncomfortable will the seats be?

After loading the gear, a mission plan briefing and about an hour of hanging out and waiting, we departed the Air force base in Scotia New York at 8 am this morning. The plane was smaller than I had pictured in my mind and we were plenty crammed in!! (Picture below)

The ride was noisy and so we all had to wear ear plugs. The ride lasted about 7 hours in all. We made a fueling stop in Goose bay Canada... also a good chance to get up and walk around abit. We passed the time reading and sleeping. It wasn't too cold... thankfully. I was able to travel in just normal clothes.

Our mission commander, Pete Hathaway, allowed me to come up to the front and enjoy the view. It was incredible scenery as we approached.

The VECO polar services group met us on the runway when we landed. We tossed our bags and gear into two pick up trucks and drove to our “hotel” accomodations. This entire place Kangerlussag is all of 1 mile wide, you can see everything from everywhere else. The town exists because of the airport. So far so good, the horizon line is getting closer to reality. Tomorrow we are off to the ice sheet. I cant wait!

the herc

commander Pete Hathaway

the seating in the herc

the view approaching Kangerlussag

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