Fellow Abilene-ite, Bill S and myself will be handling the Sunday Shuttles again for the next month. My 2nd run of the day to Willy Field was a fully loaded Airporter of 18 pax. They were the British flying team (although the ‘team’ is from several countries) that are TRYING to fly to AGAP to do the aerial surveys. They have had one weather delay after another. Good ol’ summer time in the Antarctic! Since they couldn’t “go” anywhere, they decided to take a group photo – ride out with me – andturn around to ride back in. All was going smoothly until about 2 or 3 miles away from Willy I heard a noise/thump-thump-thump. I was so relieved to see it was only the FAN BELT! Being the MacGyver type woman I am, I promptly used my bra to fashion a new belt, replaced it -applied new lip gloss, and on we drove.
That was a big lie! But could be the way I will WRITE the story in my future novel! What REALLY happened is I called Bill on the radio, and asked for HELP! He asked my location – I told him “exactly 3 miles and 17 inches from the WF transition.” The pax got the biggest kick out of my reply. They said I should have told him I was “parked by a RED flag”…. (for new readers, there are RED flags along the entire 7.5 mile route every 100 feet.) They asked the “fearless shuttle driver/leader” what to do next, so I told them to PREPARE for a night in the wilderness using the Happy Camp survival techniques learned. It took Bill about 30 minutes to warm up a new Airporter and drive to our location. And in that time, this British Team couldn’t get any further into survival planning than who they thought should be eaten first! It was hilarious to see the ‘logic’ used. For inquiring minds- it was going to be whoever was the most annoying!! They didn’t realize how much time had passed and enjoyed their little Sunday drive with a Kansas woman.
I also had an opportunity to visit the LDB site while they were preparing the next PAYLOAD for lift-off! I will post a photo of that!!! To stand next to the actual ‘gadget’ that will be orbiting the earth – seeing up close and personal- every detail, was incredible!!! They have the “payload” (that’s what the scientists call it) attached to the “Big Boss” truck. This truck will help in the lift-off as the helium balloon is filled – keeping the payload the correct distance from the filling/rising HUMONGOUS balloon!
To make the day complete…… I taught a new “Weather Watcher” gal how to knit in 15 minutes! I had an extra set of needles in my bag – with some extra yarn, so ‘loaned’ her both. She was getting off duty and hopped onto my shuttle. We both had 15 minutes to wait until TIME for the shuttle to depart Willy Field. What better way to use that time???
Time for breakfast – and then I’ll come back and work on loading photos!