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2016 Summer Arctic Trip

August 8th


We kicked off our first full day at Nester One with banana pancakes, eggs, and sausage. On our own schedule, we could wake up, get ready, and leave as late as we wanted to, which was very well received by everyone. We set out to do what we do at ten o’clock.

            We started off with W-9, a site south of camp. Nothing more to report, other than everything went well. We hiked to a tree island to have our lunch and get ready for the next site.

            Our hike to the next site, W-3, was quite eventful. After making it back to the ridge, we ran into a freshly killed waterfowl. The bird had its wings spread wide, and was clearly missing a head. It was the most intact kill we had seen on the trip, and was very interesting to examine. We also found caribou vertebrae, ribs, and antlers, for possible use as a new handle for the outhouse (the best bathroom at Nester One, clearly). Then we walked across a lake in our waders. All in all, entertaining.

            At our last site of the day, we finally sorted out which willow is which, had Swedish Fish, and spent 10 minutes trying to figure out if any of the rocks on the far shore were bears. They weren’t. Our active layer thickness measurements were the thickest we’ve seen thus far, and required our longest probes. When we finished our work, the adults proposed a banana bread baking contest (we have a lot of bananas) and we divided ourselves into groups. The five breads were a honey-peanut butter banana bread, a gluten-and-dairy-free banana bread, a “le everything” bread, a chocolate-and-trail-mix bread (“Craven some Jasmadeah”) and “Pizzazzzz.” Craven some Jasmadeah won, with the gluten and dairy free bread coming in last place with one vote. Since that was the only bread I could eat, I was that one vote. It was fun tasting and baking the bread after a day of hard work.

            For a perfect conclusion, we had a clear sky tonight, and saw magnificent northern lights, shining green and purple in waves across the sky.

            I’m looking forward to more days at Nester One.

Luke Pound, Park School of Baltimore 18'