Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day one....

We were up and ready early on our first day. After packing overnight bags, including sleeping bags in case we got stuck somewhere, we met in the lobby of the hotel 7:30 to meet the bus to the Armory. Our intrepid driver and XO of the mission, Captain Crabtee, was to become, like MSgt Kiel, one upon whom we would depend for transportation to and from whatever place we might be directed.

We had breakfast in the Armory- the best scrambled eggs I ever had! My image of military meals was of Igor, the camp cook from M.A.S.H. in the episode where he made the French toast in a vat big enough to hold a cow. Instead there were efficient tables with steam trays of eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon and ham.

We spent some time visiting with people giving and receiving eye exams before getting the word that we would be going to the airport to watch a group of doctors, nurses and techs be on their way to the village of Point Hope. They had been trying to get there for four days, but each time the weather was, as is normal in Alaska, uncooperative. There is a lot of hurry up and wait when it comes to travel.

The hangar was filled with gear and people in various stages of readiness and resignation with the delay. Three BlackHawk helicopters hopped over from the other side of the field in clouds of blowing snow, and loaded up. It wasn't long before they returned to the hangar, after one had a mechanical.

Next, we got word that since the helicopters weren't going to Point Hope, one would be available to take us and a medical crew to the village of Noorvik. We would be dropped off there while the BlackHawk went on to Selawik to deliver and pick up personnel and then return for us. Get ready!!!

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