Day 26–Just A Drill

June 8, 2010 5:38am

75°51.873 W48°06.979 Elevation 8617 Feet

It generally takes about an hour and a half to break camp every day, from slipping your socks on to clipping the kite lines onto the harness. Building and breaking camp is like furnishing and stripping a house, twice a day, every day. It requires loading and unloading the sledges with food, cooking items, tent clothes, sleeping systems, not to mention setting and unsetting the tent. It’s a process.

Yesterday, by 8 PM we began the cycle, preparing for a night of light winds, but secure in the fact that we only have seventy kilometers to cover to meet our minimal requirement for the day. The trouble was that by the time we unrolled the kites’ lines, the wind had all but died. It was deadly still. The sky was busy with high and low clouds, and it snowed intermittently, as it had for the last three days. We sat on our sledges, hoping that a passing cloud might activate a wind system and we’d be on our way.

Thirty minutes in and we broke the chess board, pulled the sledges next to one another and used a plastic container for a table. Under snow, we carried out our game for about forty five minutes to the point where we were both shivering. The sun may be hanging high in the sky at nighttime but there is a definite temperature difference between night and day, and the night had a chilling bite! The kid won the game, amidst a cover of snow, and with no wind in sight, we hurried back to the habitual task of home building, with the only upside that this will be on a fresh–and clean–plot of snow.

So goes the nature of this type of travel. We’ll cook an unexpected dinner, grab some sleeping time as it comes, and switch the clock again if the winds blow during the day.
This was just a drill…

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