Friday, March 5, 2010
Yesterday was one of the best days I've ever had in the arctic. After breakfast, I went over to 0pal as usual to work, and had a really productive day. After supper back at the station, a few of us decided to play a round of disk golf. I imagine that frisbee golf would be fun under pretty much any circumstances (frisbee where no one is responsible for catching my throws!), but it's very awesome in Eureka. There's a whole course marked out on the tundra, along the edge of a creek, and there's pretty varied terrain. We only made it to about the 3rd or 4th hole along the course when we couldn't ignore the sound of the howling wolves for any longer - we quit our game and decided to go find the pack. At -42 C, no one was complaining too much about the idea of a nice warm truck ride up past the runway to the dump where they sometimes hang out.
As a side note to the cold: Yes, Stephanie you do get used to the cold, but it can still freeze you if you're not careful. It's a dry cold, so -30 or -40 doesn't feel as bad as it would if it were also damp. Likewise, if it's windy, it can be not so fun. When we come up here we're issued arctic gear including -100C rated boots, a pair of snowpants and one of those Canada Goose parkas that are super warm. Mine is even warmer because it's bigger than I am, so it goes past my knees. Once you're snuggled into your snowsuit, you're not really that cold. Only thing is that you have to watch how much skin is uncovered on your face (or your hands if you're taking your hand out of your mitt too often for picture taking purposes). My biggest problem is that my glasses frost over really quickly from my breath. I have a choice: Don't cover my mouth or nose and be able to see, or cover them up, be blind, but not risk frostbite. Yes, I've tried ski goggles. They give me a lovely extra 10 frost free minutes of vision. Needless to say, when we were playing frisbee golf, someone (in a giant black parka against the bright white snow) had to go stand by the hole so I'd know vaguely where to throw...