There she is in all her glory.... I absolutley can't believe I got a photo that came out this well.
So, there I was at Sunday dinner... after a nice day of watching movies and doing laundry. You see, like many people in McMurdo Sunday is my only day off. So there I was having just finished my plate of prime rib and baked potato, when I heard D-Ski, one of our Firefighter/Paramedics, asking a couple people if they had cameras. I spoke up figuring if they needed mine for a training this evening they could barrow it, since I already had left it at the station. Then D-Ski said it "We're going to The Pegasus*, want to come?"
So without hesistation I went and sorted my food waste from my burnables** put my dishes away for the galley staff to clean and bounded off to the station. We gathered the group of us going and piled in one of our nice, pretty new, ARFF Vehicles, Red 4.
Me fighting the wind to...stand.
This is one of those trucks I have told many of you about that have all 4 wheels repalced with caterpillar tracks so they can go anywhere. In our group was a very cool person who is down here from the company that made these trucks doing some work on them, so this was also going to be a bit of a proving run.
Off we go. 360 degree view of white. More white. 14 miles later we reach Pegasus airfield. It has been windy the whole ride, but now it is hurricane force... and no thats not an exaggeration...we find Connie and follow the flagged route there. The tail is rocking back and forth in the wind violently. Weather tells us its still Condition 3 weather.... yeah, right. Of course as long as they say that we dont have to vacate the area, so its good.
I open my door.
The storm breaking up over the Trans-Antarctic Mountains.
... and it wont open, I try, and try, only to have the force of the wind holding it shut even against my enter body weight, and lets face it.... thats not a small force to overcome. So, we get out the other side. I had my entire body leaning forward into the wind and it took every ounce of strength I had to move forward... at a couple of times even that wasnt enough and i was forced to just hope i stay where I am as opposed to getting shoved back.
The clouds had broken for us and I got some really good pictures, as you can see. We saddled back up in Red 4 and headed for home.... and here I am... a truly awesome trip.
*The Pegasus is an old Navy Cargo Aircraft (C-121J Constellation) This particular one was named "Pegasus", and the planes known as "Super Connies".
It really does run everywhere...
Pegasus crashed in 1970 while attempting to land at Williams Field with incredibly low visibility. There was no loss of life, and most injuries were cold related as it took some time to locate the crash. This is why we must all fly with our cold weather gear on. The plane still remains there today in basically the same shape, minus being completely drifted in by snow except for the top of the fuselage and the tail. This is, of course where Pegasus Blue Ice Runway got its name.
**All trash down here must be sorted, here is an example of the categories you may find in just a dorm to throw your trash out: Burnables, Plastic, Non-Recyclable, Food Waste, Cardboard, Mixed Paper, Glass, Aluminum Beverage Cans. Yes, it does make taking the trash out a whole new world.