Our Rhone camp moved to Sollas camp on Friday, joining up with the remaining group members. It was so good to see them! Happy reunion.
After camp put-in and some recon on Saturday, Jay and I hiked on over to Lake Hoare. It’s a three hour hike from our Sollas campsite, across some awesome patterned ground. We saw ripples of basalt pebbles oriented with the katabatic wind direction, and tons of ventifacts. At the final approach to the lake, we passed right next to Suess Glacier and the boulders melting out of its margin.
Maciej, a member of the Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) team picked us up on an ATV once we reached the lake edge. Never been on an ATV before! We crossed over the frozen lake moat going a very satisfying speed of much-faster-than-walking.
Lake Hoare is a permanent establishment, managed by a wonderful woman, Rae, and her lovely assistant Reneé, who you’ve already met. It was very exciting indeed to see buildings and new people, including three other LTER folks. We sat at a table! I washed my hands! I bathroomed in an outhouse with walls!
Rae made us a really marvelous Indian dinner, with saag paneer and daal and a potato and veggie dish. It’s kind of surreal to eat that sort of thing in Antarctica. It was even more surreal to have kiwi the following morning. Kiwi! I don’t even eat that in Massachusetts!
After dinner, Krista and I washed dishes, and it was the best dishes washing experience I’ve ever had. Warm, soapy water has never felt so good. My hands even got enough of a soaking that most of the dirt came out of my fingerprints. Also, I showered. Sorry folks, I know I said it’d be 6 weeks sans showering, but Rae had a hot water pot with a bag to fill, which you can pulley up and use as a shower. It was quite enjoyable. And, I slept warm for the first night so far. Granted, this sleep was performed on the floor of the shower room where the hot water pot was warming up. It was still marvelous. A good place it is, that Lake Hoare.