"The Dude abides." ~The Dude
Day 13 No Tractor Snacks.
I really need an editor. So I was informed as the crew pointed out that yesterday's haiku was missing a couple of syllables. That's two days in a row I've messed up the Haiku. Here it is with the correct amount of syllables.
"Doctor's Orders" by Kevin
Pee in a bottle
No less than six times a day
Do not overfill
This morning weather was decent considering what it turned into later in the day.
I was able to see at least one flag at a time all morning and a couple of times I could see two. This was much improved over yesterday. By lunch, visibility ceased to exist. It would have been a rough afternoon of driving if we hadn't needed to stop for the day to fix stuff.
Yesterday was a good solid day of "traverse driving." Today the crew got a good taste of "traverse, everything breaks." By 0900 it had begun. Faulty Towers, our beloved berthing module, decided that it wanted to jump ship. Josh called out on the radio. "Hey, Thor I think Faulty is falling off the plastic." Sure enough, when I looked back, I could see a whole lot more blue than I should have been able to (by the way Faulty Towers is a big blue box). We stopped and Josh, Kriete, and Francis helped coax Faulty back into position and put some new straps on. We were back on our way by 0930. We made it all the way to 1000 load check.
As I was walking around checking my load making sure those straps we just replaced were holding up I get another call from Josh. "Hey Thor the Paulster Pad on the front right ski of the tool shed is all jacked up." Walking back to check it out I'm thinking to myself "what could be wrong, those pads are at most two years old. Yeah, we have wrecked a couple over the years but old ones and on a totally different ski setup. Those skis get flipped upside down and drug for miles before someone notices them. And then all you do is pick up the CRREL tool with a crane and it flops right back into place and you continue on. I've made complete journeys to the pole and back with a Paulster Pad that was ripped halfway through. What could have happened that Josh is concerned? I mean heck, they use those things in buildings for shock absorption in earthquake-prone areas." Well in true Traverse style, after closer inspection, we found a way to destroy not one but four pads. I have no idea what we could have done for them to fail in the way they did. The skis, for the most part, were still attached enough to continue down the trail. We had Kriete drive alongside of Josh for a couple of miles to see if he could witness anything odd happening that could've lead to the destruction of those pads. Nothing. We just kept on until lunch break.
The plan? Half of the crew took lunch while the other half started in on replacing the pads and then we switched. The project went fairly smoothly. We had two spare pads in the tool shed and another two on spare skis we carry with us. We'll keep a close eye on them and hopefully, we can get some spares guard mailed to the pole. To make this repair more pleasant we used the blade CATs to make a wind block. At some point, it was noticed that blade CAT 313 was leaking transmission oil. Perfect. No, really we're already stopped and in repair mode.
FYI snow is an excellent absorbent and is easy to shovel up. All contaminated snow gets processed by the Hazardous Waste department back in McMurdo.
Well, we didn't make many miles today but we sure did some work.
Dinner or I should say Supper because Justin was cooking, was a mad scientist goes to Mexico affair. Chicken Enchiladas, Grilled Chicken Fajitas, Justin's own special cheese sauce. There were burnt pans and pots. Serious elbow grease was needed to salvage the cookware but amazedly the module stayed smoke-free. Like I said mad science.
Camped with Spot 1 this evening. They rolled up to our camp sight around 1830. They ended up pushing a long day because of some issues with the Prinoth not wanting to stay put. Otherwise, they would have arrived at normal quitting hours. We appreciated them working longer to get here. We raided their tool shed and liberated a couple of Paulster Pads some spare parts for our generators and of course MEAT PIES!!! I'm not going to read the crew this part in morning meeting but the only meat pies Spot 1 had were Veggie Pies. I'm curious as to what the first reactions are going to be.
Mileage today: 20
Remaining Miles: 225
Intentions: Head South. Deliver fuel. Stay Positive. Respect Safety. Heat the South Pole. Laugh. Crossword. Eat Well. Trail Maintenance. Bleach everything. Harness up. Cache Fuel. Haiku. Flag the Leverett. Drive by GPS. Fix stuff.