Collection team Christmas photo (Joe photo)
Part of our Christmas feast (Oz photo)
December 25, 2005
We're having a white Christmas here in the Miller Range! Snow began falling gently as we returned from the field yesterday (we collected 15 meteorites pushing our total over 150). It continued overnight and we were treated to a sparkling, fresh landscape today. The sun is dodging in and out of the clouds, and occasional flurries are still in the air.
Last night we got together in the Endurance tent for a Christmas Eve dessert party. There were 2 cheesecakes freshly-made on-site (one vanilla with blueberries, and one strawberry with chocolate cookie crumb crust), a chocolate silk pie (also made here), and imported cookies (okay, they were Chips Ahoy imported from McMurdo, but were only a year or so past their sell-by date!). There was also a Danish treat freshly-made from raspberries, blueberries, and sugar, and served hot. The name of this dessert only Marie, who is Danish, is able to pronounce properly, despite humorous efforts on our parts.
We had hoped to get into the field for meteorite searching today, but the fresh coating of snow is just thick enough to keep us in camp. So most of us spent extra time sleeping today (in some cases until afternoon - our party lasted until after midnight). Tonight we're having a group dinner. So far on the menu we have hummus and crackers, Cornish game hens with potatoes and carrots, Miller Range gumbo with shrimp, cranberry-apple stuffing, candied yams, and leftover desserts.
Yesterday we had another resupply flight from McMurdo. We were happy to receive more mail, and stock up on extra food items. On board was a special surprise - a lovely box of freshies! (Down here "freshies" refer to food that is not dried, frozen, pre-packaged, or out of date.) Shaun and Jani, who returned early to camp from the field to meet the plane yesterday, presented us with the box during our Christmas Eve party, and there was much rejoicing. A large portion of the freshies will be featured in tonight's feast.
We spoke with the Recky Team, and they are doing well. They had a big feast on Christmas Eve (shrimp and pasta were the main features) because they were traversing to their fourth camp on Christmas Day. They had been unable to search for meteorites lately because they had more snow than we did - about 8 inches, I think they said.
The members of both teams would like to send our warmest holiday greetings to all of our family, friends, and colleagues back home. We hope you are having as sparkling a holiday season as we are! We would like to thank you for your encouragement and support while we participate in this expedition. We know our absence is felt at home, and we miss you too, but we'll be home in a few weeks. There will be plenty of time to catch up then, and we'll have some great stories to tell!
In the group Christmas photo are (left to right): Joe, Shaun (with fancy hat), Jani (with antlers), Oz, Marie, Mike K., Mike R. (with flashing stocking cap), and Ben (with hula doll).