Friday, May 13, 2016

Almost Like Riding

On Thursday afternoon after lunch, I went out to the  BEO (Barrow Environmental Observatory) Control Shed to try and get my redundant wireless connections up and running. I had an Action Packer of stuff that needed to be hauled out sometime for future use and this is a whole lot easier than carrying the stuff out walking on the boardwalk. I had brought my old motorcycle gear to use as it's waterproof enough and I probably wouldn't be using it back in Fairbanks.

This is the Control Shed. It really does look like a shed but it has power, heat and Internet. What more does anyone need? (Plumbing would be nice) When we got there, the inside temperature must have been around 80°F or at least that's what it felt like. I put up a small parabolic antenna on the tower in the background and roughly aimed it at the BARC. It has a very small field horizontally and vertically and aiming it while on the tower is very difficult due to the bright sun washing out the LED signal strength indicators. There is a very tedious and time consuming procedure for aiming the antenna with multiple reconfigurations and restarts of the radio. Kind of a hassle when you are hanging off the tower.

Just moving around the shed was challenging due to the deep snow drifts. I need to check an experiment out on this boardwalk but before heading out there, I want to find out where I'm allowed to drive the snow machine. I don't want to trample on someone's experiment. The wooden boardwalk is built like the small removable docks used on some lakes. During the summer, you are supposed to stay on the boardwalk to avoid disturbing the ground. There is a long history of climate studies in this area since the BEO was created back in the 1940s.

This is the group that led me out there. They all work for UIC Science, the science logistics provider. They came by to check up on me before heading back to the BARC making sure that I felt comfortable getting back on my own. If not, one of them would have come back for me when I was ready to head back. I promised to call once I arrived back at NARL. The only challenge was 50' from the BARC, I needed to go over some large drifts and after the right ski sunk in a hole, it was hard to hold the machine upright. I slowly went over on my side. No pictures so did it really happen?

I'll need to go back out again. Hopefully there is still enough snow on Saturday morning when I plan on heading out again....

And since the food pic in my last post generated so many comments, here is the new entry for the unusual-food-of-the-day. How about some home-made habanero pickled muktuk. Sweet, hot and very tasty. 

11 comments:

SonjaM said...

I go whale watching, I don't eat them necessarily. Did you actually dare taste it, Richard or are you just teasing?

Trobairitz said...

Next thing you know you'll be buying a Spyder so you have that snowmobile feeling all year round.

RichardM said...

Of course. If some offers you their delicious, home-made treat, you try it. Not as spicy as expected and the overwhelming flavor is similar to bread and butter pickles.

RichardM said...

I don't think so. Around here, snow machines are functional, practical transportation. In Fairbanks they are purely recreational. The steering is pretty heavy on the snow machine and you feel beaten up after riding.

Dar said...

The question about the snowmobile tipping over with no one to see it is tge same principle of a tear falling in the forest does anyone hear the thud - nope, so your good ;)

Dar said...

Ps I thought you retired......

RichardM said...

Thank you for the clarification! Nothing to worry about now.

RichardM said...

I did. But I am still a part-time temp to support the research activities in Barrow. In the past, I hired a temp to spend all summer up here but with the budget cuts, I now just do it myself for a week or two at a stretch but not all summer. There are so many things that can't be done remotely.

redlegsrides said...

Snow machines are fun to ride...we rented some in Steamboat Springs one time. And yes, very easy to get yourself into some trouble.

RichardM said...

There wasn't enough deep snow to really get into trouble but the frozen piles of snow from the plows were the most challenging part. Not very fluffy but rock hard ridges. I'm not convinced of the "fun" part.

Dar said...

That should have been "tree" not tear - damn spellchecker.