Tuesday, December 23, 2014

No Good Idea for a Title

I am really tired right now, so apologies if this isn't up to par.  We just got done cleaning up after eating some awesome pizza made by one of my teammates.

Today we went up to F9 which is a gage station on Green Creek.  This took us about 20 minutes on the ATV.  The ATVs are only allowed to be driven on the lake ice so they don't leave tracks on the land.  The lake ice is interesting because near the middle it can be as thick as 9m, or so I have been told.  However during the summer, moats of open water open up around the shoreline.  This is because the exposed ground heats up from solar radiation, then the water in the shallows is warmed and the ice near the edge is thawed.  This makes for interesting travels.  Today we had to lay a ladder across from the shoreline to the good lake ice.  It is funny because a lot of the things that I do here remind me of Minnesota.

The goal of the trip up to F9 was to repair the leaking control for the gage.  The control is a mound, or dam of rock and sediment that is about 60ft long 4ft wide and 2ft tall.  This dam has a channel through the middle where the river would normally flow.  The dam is also wrapped in a water proof tarp to prevent leaking.  The point of this structure is to ensure a consistent channel at which a depth can be measured using a pressure transducer.  Knowing the depth a discharge can be inferred.  However, the validity of all of the measurements depends on the unchanging nature of the channel at the gage.  Anyways, the old dam was leaking, so it was our job to fix it.

Six hours later we had it repaired and back in action.  I also am trying to construct a kite for a Christmas gift exchange.  I went with a kite because of the unrelenting wind in the valleys.  I constructed a pretty decent kite, but the problem is I can't rig it right so that it is properly balanced and the thing swerves around like it has a mind of its own.  I may have to build or find another gift, because I don't want to be liable when this thing kills someone.

It is already Dec. 23 here, which means tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  It is just now hitting me that I won't be home for the holidays.  It's a bit of a bummer thinking of all my friends and family back home, but I'll survive and I hope they can too without me haha.


  1. Merry Christmas Zach, we will miss having you here to celebrate. Hope you figured out the kite dilemma for your gift exchange. Luke says to add a tail to help balance it.
    Seems like you are staying pretty busy and learning a lot. Can't wait to hear more about your adventure and see more pictures!
    We love you!
    Breezy, Luke, Mom, and Dad

  2. Merry Christmas Zach! Glad you made it through the McMudo trainings quickly (snort) ... So glad you're working with good people in such a beautiful area! Love the blog - if the kite works with a tail, post a photo :-) ... your envious aunt, Natalie