It figures. The ships came in and I was at Pegasus doing airfield taxi runs. The Russian Ice Breaker and Maersk Peary fuel tanker arrived and I was hanging out with my buddies at LC-130, Skier 93, The Pride of Scotia, NY.
The sense of community and acceptance in this lifestyle is wonderfully addicting. The seasonal or contract work environment is very different from most real world jobs. Like at Denali, I feel very comfortable here. As you may know I went to Denali for a seasonal summer job and ended up staying in Alaska for 16 years. The sense of community, belonging and acceptance these places offer is awesome and comforting.
The social norms are a bit different in this type of seasonal work and environment. A casual and friendly atmosphere exists, everything's accelerated a bit by necessity. We're all here for one purpose - to support science, furthering man's understanding of where we live. We live, eat, work, play and sleep together, necesitating a close knit community that looks out for each other. It makes me want to know more, do good, be better.
Working and living with people with the same or similar goals, life expereinces, etc is very supportive. It doesn't matter that you have a masters in astropyhsics and are working as a dishwasher or janitor. Generally, stuff doesn't matter, experiences do. Who cares if you have the coolest car, the nicest house in the coolest neighborhood with kids in the coolest schools. Here it's more who you are and the life you've lead (your charater). It's not that this is totally missing in the real world, but maybe it's just a bit harder to find.
Lunch break in the office, Elisha at the computer.
Lunch break, Travis reading a book.
Linnah checking out van 422, we do this twice a day.
Last Sunday I was part of a team to test the roads. Fellow shuttle driver Nate and I were teamed up with Sally and Brett from CRREL (US Army Corp of Engineers, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory) to measure and test the roads. We spent almost 6 hours on our day off having fun in the sun out on the road to Pegasus. It was a beautiful, sunny day with very little wind. I'm not exactly sure what we were doing, besides collecting data, but it was fun.
After New Years weekend I transitioned to the day shift. Now I work the 5am to 5pm shift. I am having a bit of trouble adjusting, just as I did when I went to nights. Things are getting busy after a break for the Holidays, it's good to be busy and having fun!
Memorial cross at Hut Point.
LC-130's in the fog that prevented the C-17's from NZ from landing.