Thursday, June 09, 2011
Life was not all great on our Karluk River survey - at times we were not all that comfortable. Molly got the pushki burns that made her fingers look like 'lil' smoky sausages', and then there was the rain and hard frosts. For the last half of the trip when we had to set up a new camp along the river every night it rained every day. And in the beginning of the trip while sunny during the day - it got awful COLD during the night.
On the third night of the trip I was shocked it got so cold. I had brought a 30 degree summer bag and just about froze solid. Usually I am a warm sleeper but I had to stuff all my extra clothing down into the bag just to survive. When I got up to cook breakfast I noted that there was an inch of ice on the water bucket. So I was not a total wimp. I think it did get down into the lower 20's fahrenheit. Photos 1,2 & 4 show the morning after the big freeze. It frosted hard on three consecutive nights.
But the worst weather we had was rain and wind. Trying to work and write notes in the rain is only super-ceeded by having to set up camp in the rain. And on some days we both took down camp and set up camp in a driving rain. That was BAD. But on the plus side we did have a wood stove. So our desperate times were always tempered by warm evenings spent by the wood stove - frantically trying to dry everything out.
On our last morning on the river it was raining pretty hard and all the worms came out of the ground and climbed up the walls of the tent (third photo). The bottom photo is of the USFWS beaver float plane picking us up at the Karluk Lagoon. It had cleared up by then but everything was still soaked. Finally, I have embedded a video that shows just a few moments of what it was like while it was raining on our survey. It includes footage from the boat, eking it out in the tent, and digging a test pit - all in the rain.