Field Work Travelogue: Day 4 – Science and Errands #NTCave15

Today was the big day! We began to do some science.

Making sure everything is ready for the first scientists to descend.
Making sure everything is ready for the first scientists to descend.

We can’t all be in the cave at once, of course.

We’ve been here for two days now, and have figured out some of the nuances and needs of our large crew. We needed some more groceries. We’ve also set up the screen-washing area, which used up most of our water supply. A trip into Lovell was needed, and I volunteered for the task.

As the crow flies, Lovell isn’t too far. It is, nevertheless, a very long and tiring drive.

Ball-bearing hill. This photo does it no justice. It's steep and covered with loose, pointy rock.
Ball-bearing hill. This photo does it no justice. It’s steep and covered with loose, pointy rock.
This stretch of road has no name that I am aware of, but has deep, diagonal ditches crossing it at about 50 foot intervals. Goody.
This stretch of road has no name that I am aware of, but has deep, diagonal ditches crossing it at about 50 foot intervals. Goody.

I got back to camp just in time for the cave crew to start their ascents back to the surface.

Juan and Rick wait for the next scientist to climb out of the cave.
Rick and Juan wait for the next scientist to climb out of the cave.

After dinner, we made use of the “Trapparatus” for a little more training in rappelling and ascending.

Tom and Steve watch me practice the mid-rope switch from ascending to rappelling.
Tom and Steve watch me practice the mid-rope switch from ascending to rappelling. (Photo by Kim Scott)

Tomorrow, I’ll be going into the cave. I can’t wait to see what lies below!

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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