Sunday, February 1, 2009

Christchurch, New Zealand - Feb 1, 2009 - Logan

Name: Logan Mitchell

Date: Feb 1, 2009

Location: Devon Hotel in Christchurch, NZ
Time: 11:30am
Latitude: 43°31'43.04"S
Longitude: 172°37'58.15"E
Elevation: 75 m (246’)
Temperature: 25°C
Wind speed: 4 km/hour
Clouds: Partly cloudy
Relative Humidity: 44%
Precipitation: None so far
Animals: Lots of birds

I made it back to New Zealand! The flight was on a much larger C-17 this time. The C-17 is different from the LC-130 in that the inside was easily twice as large, it had jet engines instead of 4 propellers, the seats were much more comfortable, it was quieter, and it had fully retractable wheels for landing gear. This plane is a lot faster than the LC-130 and the trip from McMurdo to New Zealand was only 4 hours instead of the 8 hours it took to get down there!

Throughout the flight I was thinking about what it was going to be like when I got off the plane. We took off at about 5pm and were scheduled to land at about 9pm, and the thing I was most curious about was the sun. Since we were flying north, and it was getting later in the day, I was wondering if I was going to be able to see the sun set while I was on the plane, or if it was going to be dark when we landed. The sun has not set, or gotten even remotely close to the horizon in the past 64 days, and I was extremely curious about how I (or my body) would respond to it.

The other thing I was thinking about was the temperature. When we left McMurdo it was just below freezing. As a rule, anytime you fly in Antarctica you have to wear all of your ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) gear which includes your Big Red down jacket, ski pants, huge bunny boots, hat, glacier glasses, and gloves in case the plane were to crash and you had to survive on your own. A well known trick is to wear your regular clothes underneath your ECW gear, and in the middle of the flight, everyone stripped off their ECW gear in preparation for getting out of the plane in the summertime heat and humidity of New Zealand.

The one disadvantage to a C-17 is that it has very few windows and I had to get out of my seat if I wanted to look outside. Every time I did this, the sun was still high in the sky. Finally we started our landing approach and I couldn’t get up any more, so I tried my best to not think about it, telling myself that I’d know soon enough when they opened the door. We touched down and then taxied for what seemed like an eternity. I could already feel the humidity increasing in the plane, even though the doors were still closed. We finally stopped and began filing out, and when I got to the door and began walking down the steps I was hit with the answers to both my questions in quick succession. At the door there seemed to be an invisible thermal and humidity barrier, and crossing it was like getting off the plane in Dallas in summertime after vacationing in the mountains of Colorado. As soon as I got off of the steps, I looked up at the sky, which was glowing orange with what seemed to me at the time to be the most beautiful sunset I’d ever seen. I was enthralled and the people behind me had to nudge me forward towards the shuttle buses that were waiting for us. I got on the bus, and sat down, still trying to soak in as much of the sunset as I could. It was at least a full minute later, after the shuttle had started driving that I was again struck by something that I hadn’t seen in a long time. My gaze had drifted to what was right below the sunset and quietly I gasped: “Look at all those trees!!!” They were everywhere, huge and majestic…I felt like I had left the moon and was once again surrounded by Life!

The shuttle bus ride was as short as the plane taxi was long, and in no time at all we were dropped off at the terminal, and we had to go inside. By the time we collected our bags and got through customs, the sun had set and it was dark outside. The darkness felt remarkably normal to me…this is the way its supposed to be, the way its been for my whole life, and I felt very comfortable with it.

Back in my hotel that evening Spruce and I recollected on our time in Antarctica and what a fitting, almost storybook ending we had. WAIS Divide already seemed like a faint memory, even though we were drilling ice core on 24 hour shifts only 8 days ago. Now I’m looking ahead to a couple of weeks of vacation time in New Zealand. I’m going to meet up with an old Kiwi friend and go mountaineering near Mt. Cook for a few days, meet up with some other friends on the north island, and just be a tourist for awhile. Beyond that, I’m looking forward to when I return home on February 18th, to when I’ll get to see my family and friends again whom I’ve sorely missed. These next couple of weeks, they are going to be good.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

McMurdo - Jan 27, 2009 - Logan

Name: Logan Mitchell

Date: January 27, 2009
Location: McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Time: 10pm
Latitude: 77°50'46.42"S
Longitude: 166°39'59.78"E
Elevation: 34m (112’)
Borehole depth: 1511.951 m! <- Final depth for the season!
Temperature: -3°C
Wind speed: 5-10knots
Wind Chill: -8°C
Visibility: Unrestricted
Precipitation: None
Animals: 3 Skua and many seals
Breakfast: Eggs, pancakes, plum.
Lunch: hummus wrap with ***lettuce, green peppers, onions!!!*** and a plum.
Supper: A huge salad w/ all the fixins!!! Blueberry cheesecake for dessert! And a plum!

The past few days have been incredibly busy! On Thursday night we finished drilling the last meter of ice core for the season, and most of camp came down to the drilling arch for the event. It was the most photographed ice core this season! Once the core was safely pushed out of the drill into a core handling tray, we all congratulated each other with a well deserved glass of whiskey. We all had a lot to be happy about: the two main goals for this season were to get through the brittle ice and also to get past 1500m. Not only did we accomplish both of these, but we finished a day early!

On Friday we started cleaning up which included lowering the final racks of ice core trays down into the basement, securing the trays on the carts for the winter, turning off the AC units (which was cause for more celebration!), packing all of our tools and office supplies up for the season, and general tidying up of the arch. With everyone working, things went pretty fast and we were finished by Saturday afternoon. In the evening I began to collect everyone’s pictures on my external hard drive to facilitate everyone sharing their photos with everyone else.
This was kind of like herding cats, but by Sunday morning I had finally done it. On Sunday morning we helped take down the Jamesway that we had used all season and packing up the last few things. It was amazing to me that in the span of two and a half days, we went from production drilling to being completely done with packing and disassembling the Jamesway…the transition was very abrupt. A positive side of all of this was that since production drilling was over, we all transitioned to a single shift and were working the normal 8 am to 6 pm hours that the rest of camp was working. This was great because it was the first time since we started production drilling on December 22, 2008 that I was able to work with and hang out with my fellow core handlers whom I had become such good friends with.

The weather on Sunday began to improve and since our work was done, we were all scheduled to fly out on Monday. This was my last chance to take care of things at WAIS that I had put off, or didn’t have time to do. One of these things was setting up a slackline, which is like tight rope walking, but using tubular webbing that stretches when you walk on it. This turned out to be really easy: we attached one end to a Tucker (large tracked vehicle) and attached the other end to the large 953 bulldozer, and drove the 953 a little bit away to tighten it! This was a lot of fun and I kind of wish that I had thought of this earlier in the season. Another thing that I had always wanted to do but didn’t have the time/energy was to go on a run away from camp until I couldn’t see camp anymore and was just out in the middle of nowhere. So, I told someone in camp exactly where I was going and when I was coming back (in case something went awry) and then headed out. After jogging for an hour with nothing but the sun and the horizon in view and the sound of snow squeaking under my feet, I turned around and saw that camp was just a speck on the horizon, barely visible. All around me, in all directions all I could see was flat white ice sheet, the sun in the sky, and a few scattered clouds. This was a great moment for me filled with so many emotions: happiness, accomplishment, extreme aloneness (but not loneliness), and isolation. And I was cold. I took some photos and headed back. I am pretty sure that where I was jogging, no human being had ever stepped before.

On Monday the flight arrived right on schedule, right after lunchtime. We all spent the morning taking down our tents, taking the last few pictures, and saying our last goodbyes to the people who were staying behind. The camp population was at ~45 people and 23 are leaving on our flight, and another 9 will be leaving on the next flight scheduled for Tuesday. The remaining people will take down the rest of the buildings in camp and should be leaving around February 7th.

The flight was pretty uneventful except that as we were taking off the pilots buzzed camp, which scared the bejesus out of me because we were flying so low. Getting back to McMurdo has been very interesting and is making me wonder what it will be like to get back to New Zealand. There are so many people here that I don’t know! And there is fresh fruit & vegetables available at every meal! Holy moly! Even though the plums are as hard as a rock and are extremely sour, I eat one at every meal. The temperature here is very mild compared to WAIS. It is barely freezing. There is flowing water along all of the streets. The main ship that
resupplies McMurdo with food and equipment will be here in a few days and an icebreaker vessel has cleared a channel through the McMurdo Sound, so I can see ocean water! I walked down to the icy water and looked in and saw some algae growing in it: the first living plant that I’ve seen in 9 weeks. There are lots of seals and skua around, and I am hoping to see a penguin, but I think my chances are pretty small. If I see one, this blog will be the first to know about it.

Well, that’s all for now. We have a few errands to do here in McMurdo, but mostly I’m spending my time catching up on email, reading about what our new President has been up to, planning my trip to New Zealand, and resting. I’m scheduled to fly back to New Zealand on January 30.

Tent city with the sun and a halo around it.

Looking at some bubbles in one of the final ice cores.

The crowd gathered around the drill as the final ice core was coming up.

Me with the final ice core. Bottom depth is 1511.951 meters below the surface.

Me in the basement that is filled up with ice core trays. There is ~932 meters of ice core being stored in the basement!

The skeleton of a Jamesway as we were taking it down.

Me balancing on the slackline.

Friday, January 23, 2009

WAIS - Jan 23, 2009 - Tim

Name: Tim Bartholomaus

Date: January 23, 2009
Location: WAIS Divide Galley
Time: 23:00
Latitude: 79° 28’ 1.2” S
Longitude: 112° 5’ 6.0” W
Elevation: 1,759 m
Borehole depth: 1511.951 m! And that's it for the season!
Temperature: -16 °C
Wind speed: 18 knots
Visibility: 1000 m
Clouds: overcast, but with occasional cloud breaks
Wind direction: 15°
Precipitation: Some snow, ~5-8 cm

Well, as John suggested, after our end-of-season celebration and toasting at the arch, most folks turned in pretty early. Although our drilling is complete, our work is far from over. In order to prepare for next year and leave our equipment in good shape to spend the winter here at WAIS, in McMurdo, or in any number of places back in the US, we had a lot of packing to do before we all hop on the next Herc flight. The way the weather's been, and because our departure date is so imminent, we want to have as much equipment and as many people ready to load as soon as the next plane touches down. Fortunately, most of what we have here at WAIS can winter either in the arch or on one of the large berms that the heavy equipment operators have been building out of snow.

Although the peak of excitement this week was the completion of the season's ice coring, the positive energy continued this morning when all of us core handlers showed up together for work (more or less. Folks not on a shift 1 schedule were given some slack to ease the transition back onto a more typical schedule). This was the first time we'd all been up and working together since we started drilling on multiple shifts sometime around December 20th. It was fun seeing everyone together again, and, with many hands, we made light work of the day's checklist.

One of the first things we did this morning was also one of the most anticipated: shutting off the four large refrigeration units that had kept the processing side of the arch down around -30 degrees C. Once the last of the cores that Spruce and I had logged last night was through the DEP process, all of the ice from the floor of the arch was lowered down into the basement for storage over the winter. When this was complete, the hatches were shut and the refrigerators were switched off, leaving an odd, but relaxing quiet around the arch. It was actually possible to carry on a normal conversation, and after the doors were left open, the temperature quickly rose to a comfortable temperature of only about -15 to -20 degrees C.

Other tasks for the day included dismantling the DEP for shipment back to the Desert Research Institute, inventorying all of the office and lab supplies in the arch and warming jamesway, and dismantling all of the sensitive electronic equipment that we don't want to get too cold. Some of this cargo, colloquially known as "DNF," for the Do Not Freeze stickers applied to them, was then brought over to the "Science" RAC tent near the center of camp where it will be kept indoors and warm until the plane is about an hour away. At that point, the cargo will be brought out and strapped onto extra large "Air Force" pallets prior to being loaded into the Herc. The final activity of the day was to sweep the entire processing arch and shovel barrels and barrels of snow off the floor and out the door. I've never seen the arch looking so ship-shape as it does now. In the end, I think everyone was pretty satisfied. It was really nice all working, eating normal meals, and hanging out together again.

After dinner, I enjoyed my last shower, I think, until I get to McMurdo, where one doesn't need to shovel snow to make water. And finally, many of us capped off the day watching "Hurricane," a great Denzel Washington movie about the wrongfully-imprisoned prizefighter made famous in Dylan's ballad.

Now we're one more day closer to flying out of here! There's talk of a Monday flight, which means that we might even have some time off on Sunday if all goes well tomorrow. I think every one of us has really enjoyed working and living out here at WAIS Divide, doing exciting science in such a unique environment, and with fun, interesting people. I feel really privileged to have had this opportunity. That said, thoughts in camp are starting to drift towards people's next plans. Personally, I can't wait to see my girlfriend in NZ, and adventure together for a couple weeks before heading back to Berkeley. There's more good stuff still coming down the pipe, for sure!

That'll be it from me- thanks everyone for reading our blog. Cheers, Tim

Thursday, January 22, 2009

WAIS - Jan 22, 2009 - John

Name: John Fegyveresi

Date: Jan 22, 2009
Location: WAIS Divide
Latitude: 79° 28’ 1.2” S
Longitude: 112° 5’ 6.0” W
Elevation: 1,759 m
Borehole depth: 1512 m

Woo Hoo!!!! We've drilled the last ice core of the season today at a depth of 1512 meters!

Hello Everyone! It's John here again for what will by my last Blog entry. First off let me start off by saying that I was actually supposed to be back in McMurdo today. Last night we were supposed to get a flight here at WAIS and I was scheduled to be on it. We had some rather quirky weather and only had a very small window open up for the flight. The plane made it all the way here, but just as it was about to land, a thick fog rolled in limiting the visibility too much for a safe landing. The plane circled over the camp for an hour and a half and finally turned around and headed back to McMurdo. Of course as fate would have it....about 30 minutes after the plane turned around, the fog broke and it became clear here at camp.

With all this being said, I'm quite glad that I got stuck here and was able to be here for such an important and exciting day. At about 10 pm tonight, the drillers pulled up the final ice core of the season from a depth of 1512 meters. We went in to this ice-core drilling season with a lot of questions. No one knew just how bad the brittle ice was going to be and everyone was unsure of just how far we'd get. An ambitious goal of reaching 1500 meters by January 23rd was set at the beginning of the season. To be able to surpass this goal...and a day ahead of schedule is a huge accomplishment for everyone here at camp and says a lot about the determination of everyone here.

About an hour before the final core was drilled, a whole crew from camp headed up to the arch to prepare for the big celebration. We all gathered around the drill and took a whole slew of photos and videos as the core was finally brought to the surface. Once it was passed into the handling side of the arch, we all made a toast and listened while
Bruce gave a speech congratulating everyone. Some awards were also given out for categories like "Best Ice Core Dancers", and "Longest Amount of Time in the Cold", etc. It really was a great night for everyone.

The celebration did end up closing down quickly however. A lot of people at camp (myself included) were up until 5:00 am last night waiting to see if the plane was going to land. This meant that a lot of people were very tired today. To make matters worse, the weather took a bad turn today and went incredibly south. We've had sustained 20-25 knot winds today, with blowing snow, and less than 1/4 mile visibility. The plane that didn't land last night probably won't come now until at least Saturday. Everyone made their way back to camp from the Arch after the celebration where we've all gathered in the Rec to watch a classic film, "The Princess Bride".

This really has been a great day and I'm thrilled that I was here (and not back in McMurdo). On a personal note I just want to add that my experience here at WAIS Divide (and in Antarctica) has been incredible....and that's mostly due to the amazing people that I've been surrounded by. Every one of the core handlers, drillers, and camp staff, has been such good people and I sincerely hope that many of us come back next year. There's also been a lot of talk in the air about hiking and I'm very much hoping to cross paths with a few WAIS folks on the trails once we get back New Zealand.

So, I guess that's it. Thanks for keeping up on the blog, and I'm honored that I was able to write updates for you all!

Take care everyone!


For anyone interested....I also have been trying to keep my blog up to date as well. Check it out if you want:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WAIS - Jan 21, 2009 - Logan

Name: Logan Mitchell

Date: Jan 21, 2009
Location: WAIS Divide
Time: 10pm
Latitude: 79° 28’ 1.2” S
Longitude: 112° 5’ 6.0” W
Elevation: 1,759 m
Borehole depth: ~1490 m

Well, I hate to say it, but the end of the 2008-2009 drilling epoch here at WAIS Divide is drawing to a close. Tonight will be my last shift, and as long as everything continues to go well, we will finish by tomorrow evening. With that in mind I’ve been trying to wrap a few things up before we leave.

Tonight before my shift I finished construction of the WAIS Pole. I got the idea from pictures that I have seen of the pole at South Pole and decided that WAIS Divide needed a similar pole. The pole itself is a ~1.5m long silver cardboard tube that is used for transporting the ice cores. I put some green netting (the same stuff we put around out ice cores) on the tube to give it some color. Then, to top it off, I filled up a weather balloon with water and blue food coloring to give a neat pattern, then stuck the balloon outside and froze it. Once it froze I peeled off the balloon, stuck it on top of the tubing and viola, the WAIS Pole was born!

The other major task that I had tonight before starting work was to break down the 3-walled backlit snowpit. This was basically a lot of digging. Since not many people have gone out there recently, the plywood that was covering the snowpit was covered with about a meter of snow! This wasn’t that big of a deal though…I really like digging in the snow. Since we were breaking it down, I had the pleasure of punching through one of the walls. Lots of fun.

That’s all for now…I’m off to start my last shift!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

WAIS - Jan 18, 2009 - Spruce

Name: Spruce Schoenemann

Date: January 18, 2009
Location: WAIS Divide Rec Tent
Time: Actually Monday morning
Latitude: 79° 28’ 1.2” S
Longitude: 112° 5’ 6.0” W
Elevation: 1,759 m
Borehole depth: 1367 m
Temperature: -18°C
Wind speed: 8.7 knots
Visibility: Less than 1 mile
Clouds: Stratus clouds everywhere-no blue sky
Wind direction: 099
Relative Humidity: In the Rec Tent it’s very humid thanks to the showers!
Precipitation: none
Animals: the lint creatures from my wool long underwear
Breakfast (2pm): Cinnamon Raisin Bagel w/ Butter & Coffee
Lunch (6pm): Leftovers consisting of Eggplant Parmigan, Vegetables & Quinoa, and Shrimp Soup
Supper (12am): Spinach Tortellini, Honey Mustard Chicken, and Peas & Carrots

Hello to all the WAIS Divide blog followers! It’s Sunday! A day off for most everyone, except Shift 2. As you read in Bruce’s blog for Saturday, we finally had an all camp day off, and some excellent festivities, including the 3 mph sleigh ride and a sailing slide show. I really enjoyed putting together the slides of my various sailing adventures, which provided a nice change of landscape from the vast white ice sheet to the vast blue ocean.

This morning (2pm in the afternoon) I awoke and realized that the 2nd WAIS Divide Coffee House was underway. I hurriedly made my way to the galley for a breakfast bagel and then headed directly to the Rec Tent to catch the second half of the Coffee House. The finale of the show was John Fegyveresi’s guitar playing and vocals. He is an excellent musician and songwriter, and we all enjoyed his witty words.

While the rest of camp enjoyed their Sunday, Shift 2 headed off to the arch to start up the last week of drilling. It was to be an exciting shift since Bill Mason was going to try a new valve in the screen barrel section of the drill. The valve was designed to help pack the chips more efficiently in the screens so that the drill could get more ice per run. Rather than drill 2.5m ice, we were going to attempt to drill 3m of ice. The first core we drilled came out of the core barrel, through the F.E.D (fluid evacuation device), and on to the 4m trays in the core handling side of the arch. Both Tim and I could not believe how long that single piece of ice core was. We made estimates on the length and then measured it with the laser baluff. 2.95 meters! Wow! It was an absolutely excellent piece of ice core, with no breaks or fractures and a perfectly spherical bottom break. If we could drill 3 meters each run, then over the course of our shift, we could get 12 meters of ice from four runs down the bore hole rather than 10 meters. Unfortunately the valve seemed to be triggering too early in the drilling process and we were never able to break the 3-meter barrier. We reverted back to the 2.5 meters per run in order to maximize the amount of ice we put in the 1m holding trays since we are limited in the amount of ice we can drill by how much we can store. Speaking of which, the basement is almost completely full of carts. There is room for 3 more carts, and then we will need to start filling the aisle between the two rows of carts! I still find it hard to believe that we have drilled that much ice core this season. What seemed like an endless amount of trays and carts at the beginning of the season is now a packed storeroom of row upon row of 1m ice cores. At the rate we are going, we will probably hit 1500 meters by Thursday night, but we have enough trays to drill to a depth of approximately 1532 meters. Since we have the time, if all goes smoothly, will fill up every last tray before the season is over!

With the season’s goal in sight, everyone’s spirits seem to be a bit higher. There is a jovial, celebratory atmosphere in camp, and in less than a week we will all be gone, except for the ice cores, the only true WAIS Dividians wintering over.

Cheers from way down under,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

WAIS - Jan 17, 2009 - Bruce

Name: Bruce Vaughn

Date: January 17, 2009
Location: WAIS Divide
Time: Actually Sunday morning
Latitude: 79° 28’ 1.2” S
Longitude: 112° 5’ 6.0” W
Elevation: 1,759 m
Borehole depth: 1360 m
Temperature: -16°C
Wind speed: 5 knots
Wind Chill: Seems warmer now that we’re used to it!
Visibility: Almost enough to land a plane
Clouds: Scattered clouds
Wind direction: Prevailing
Relative Humidity: Are you kidding?
Precipitation: none
Animals: Mostly the party kind
Breakfast: Oatmeal and toast
Lunch: Pizzas and carrot cup cakes
Supper: Pot roast & potatoes/veggies; Tofu stir-fry; peas; pecan pie

This is Bruce and I am the current science field leader who is way over due for writing a blog. Everyone else has been doing a wonderful job of keeping up on the unofficial (blog) news, and providing glimpses into the colorful and creative life that goes on here.

We have five more days of drilling, in which we fully expect to reach our goal of filling all the ice trays that we have, and reaching a depth below 1500 meters. The core quality is excellent and becoming less and less brittle every day. A plot of core quality vs. depth shows that we hit our low point in ice quality around 1070 meters, and we are now pulling up almost entirely ‘Excellent’ (0- 1 breaks) core at the 1360 meter depth. We now routinely bring up 2.5-meter lengths of ice, and cut them into shorter sections in the core processing area.

The last flight we had was last Tuesday, and between weather and aircraft mechanical issues our flight schedule has been pretty limited. We understand that more than half of the Hercules LC-130’s are down with mechanical problems, making it difficult to forecast actual departure dates. The CIRES crew is still in town, on day 4 of waiting for a flight. But there is plenty of food and good company for them! On Saturday, we suspended our work for a day for a much-deserved break beginning at 3 pm after a 17-day stretch of round the clock shifts. This will be the last such time-off for the season, because once we start taking things down, there will be a steady march to load and go, as planes become available.

Our community here on the ice is very much in the groove now just as we approach the end of the season. Its fun to watch as the season progresses and people get to know each other more and more. Perhaps because each of us is so dependent on the efforts of the many, there is a sense of community that arises spontaneously. In anticipation of an evening of fun, on Saturday afternoon we had a ‘Safety’ meeting that included gratuitous beers, and a participatory improv safety reminder put on by our esteemed camp supervisor “T”. It was a fun and upbeat way to engage the audience about the importance of being safe without being too square. Placards were used for “Funny” and “Not Funny” and “Applause” as different events were acted out by different groups of four. Scenarios covered appropriate and inappropriate party behavior in an engaging and humorous fashion, and far from stuffy. Nicely done. After an entertaining slide show given by Spruce on sailing tall ships, we all gathered for a sleigh ride – that in all honesty I thought stood a good chance of being a pedestrian yawner. Quite the contrary. Using the Tucker snow cat, ‘Dooley’ towed all of us at walking speed on one of the CRESIS sleds that is basically a sheet of thick flexible material only an inch or so off the snow. A Nansen sled towed behind carried a small Honda generator and large stereo (courtesy of ICDS) booming out the tunes. What started like a geriatric cruise quickly became a frivolous festival of walking, riding, sipping beer, dancing, snowballs, somersaults, group photos, human pyramid building, and general carrying on. A sort of traveling circus, really. A great time was had by all, and there were lots of smiles and a nice feeling of community that can only come from a weeks of sharing every day- hardships (not many), dog days of doing the same thing (many) along with the good times too, and blowing off some steam. Kudos to Brian Bencivengo for organizing the sleigh ride!

The traveling circus, a 2 mph sleigh ride at WAIS. Photo courtesy of Logan Mitchell.

The traveling circus, a 2 mph sleigh ride at WAIS. Photo courtesy of Logan Mitchell.

As we pace ourselves for the home stretch, it is comforting to know that we really are community in the greatest sense. Our merry band of ice-people is strong, capable, and full of spirit.