Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. For the holiday, I hiked from F6 with the Stream Team to Lake Hoare, where everyone in Taylor Valley gathered for Christmas.

To make the journey, we had to ride the ATV across the ice covering Lake Fryxell to the other side of the lake. Then, we hiked up the hillside, crossed the Canada Glacier and hiked down the other side to the camp at Lake Hoare. It's the Antarctica version of going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house.

Here I am with the crew from F6 as we hiked over Canada Glacier:

At Lake Hoare, there are a lot of great Christmas traditions. One of the most fun is building the gingerbread house and decorating Christmas cookies! Here's this year's creation. We use only edible items to build the house, including the Twizzlers that my sister sent me in a care package. This year's gingerbread house is even energy-efficient, with solar power and a wind generator!
After the decorating, we have a big family-style dinner of ham, asparagus, potatoes, and bread pudding. We follow that up with coffee while playing the gift-swap game. Then, we turn the lights out and have a dance party until we get too tired and crawl into our tents to sleep.

It was great to spend time with my Antarctic family in the dry valleys! It was a fun Christmas as always. Here's the beautiful view we had from the front door of the hut around midnight on Christmas:

Have a happy, safe holiday season!