Today was our first day of sampling. We were a bit overweight with us and all of our gear heading into the field, so Dave took a separate flight into Noatak village where he would get picked up after Peter and I and all of our gear would be dropped off near the haul road. Conditions were harsh this morning. It was sunny but extremely windy. So windy and cold, in fact, that my eye lashes were sticking/freezing together! It took me a moment to get myself situated, my hands were frozen too, and to mentally prepare that this was going to be how sampling would likely be during this sampling. It was intense! There was snow covering most of the surface and we were able to see some pretty obvious directional patterns of the fugitive dust near the road.
We put the SIPRE auger together and as we were trying to start the motor, which seemed flooded, Peter’s extraordinary muscles broke the motor cord! Under these conditions, this was not something we wanted to deal with in the field so, feeling a bit defeated, we headed back to Kotz to take care of the motor issue and to prepare back up plans.
It’s hard to describe the mood this evening, things seemed awfully grim, but Dave’s patience persevered and he got the motor working again. We also put together the trough to cut the cores in, so the day was not a total loss. We were ready to get back out there and planned to work some pretty long hours the following days.
Cue beautiful landscape photo for stress relief from this day.