Well, we're packed up and loaded; everything's ready to go. We finished the last buoy today and put away all of the tools and toys. We'll be at Lake Hoare tomorrow to fix (read: revert to an older version because my keeper didn't properly prepare in Chicago) some software issues. The day after we'll be at Lake Fryxell for the same reason. We won't be drilling any new ablation stakes as Meda is hurting pretty good and doesn't want to strain his back any further. After that we're in McMurdo for a few days, one of which will be a flying tour across a few lakes north of here. We may catch an early flight home, which would put us in Chicago on 12/14 instead of 12/19. I won't know honestly probably until 12/10.
Today I took a walk to Mummy Pond. It was about two hours away, but a pleasant walk. The winds were picking up, but sun dominated until I got there. I was warm enough anyways, and the scenery was nice. There's a high road and a low road, I took the high in and the short out. Up on the bluffs were boulders glaciers. The winds are pretty good across that stretch of land, so many of the rocks were sculpted. It was pretty cool to be able to look down on the lower route, which is an outwash plain of Suess Glacier when the full melt season is on. There were two streams flowing, but it is still colder here than usual. Generally by now the streams are in full bore and you can hear ice calving off of the glaciers frequently. Leave it to me to pick the cold year... The low path was mostly sand and flat. In many places wind and water left ripples in the sand, as if to speak of a beach long since gone. There weren't so many sculpted rocks here, but the contrast was pleasant. Mummy pond itself is smaller than any of the lakes I've been to. It's small enough that the ice is smooth all the way across. There is still ice movement, however. It doesn't form abrupt walls there, rather it swells up, sometimes more than a meter, creating odd and unexpected ice domes. It was a pleasant day, and a hike I've been trying to make since we got to Bonney, but could never find the time for.
One last note, true believers. Tomorrow will see the unveiling of my super mystery photo album extravaganza via my Flickr account (assuming i have the internet still). I haven't decided how many images will be included in the album, but I'm thinking maybe 10 or 15. I have more to chose from that would be appropriate, but don't want to go bananas. For those of you keeping score, I've now taken 984 images (admittedly some of those are work related and I managed to get a few of the floor of the CDC....). Still, you've been warned! When you ask to seem them, expect many!