Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Day 255: Jerky

Blame the brother for me having no time. But having him here is pretty sweet, so lets see what's been up.

Quick thing, one of the many things I haven't written about - last week the peak across from our barrack collapsed in a roar of rock. Luckily, to my knowledge, no one was hurt, but here's the view from our front porch:

Last week was Easter/spring break around here, so a lot of people were gone. I spent a lot of the week working on fixing a massive bibliographic disaster for the professor I work for, but had a few adventures as well. Last Wednesday Pierre, Johanna, Olgeir, and I went for a scooter trip over the mountain range north of Longyearbyen to the coast, and back around to the west across the point back into Adventfjorden.

Stopping for a beef jerky break, shipped straight from California. The ultimate survival food.

Looking across the pass to the ocean, where we were heading:

Our first stop was to visit an amazing frozen waterfall in a crack in the mountains - we were able to drive right up undernearth it.

Continuing our journey, we made a stop at the most awesome cabin I've ever seen - an incredible sweeping view of the ocean, and the perfect homey-wooden cabin feel. We delivered a newspaper to some of the people living there to remodel the floors, and I failed to take photographs. Moving on, we began trekking over new snow into this stunning valley:

Which ended us in an impassable narrow gully about to plundge down a snow cliff. Luckily Pierre noticed, and stopped, and in the process of trying to turn around Olgeir's snowmobile got stuck:

Pierre gives a lecture about the dangers of running your snowmobile in reverse in the field:

Once on our way again, coming into more familiar territory on the west coast, we were rewarded with this view:

Me and my faithful scooter:

The final leg of the trip brought us around the point across the fjord from Longyearbyen - by this time it was around 8pm, giving us "sunset" light (its now light all the time). Longyearbyen is totally on the wrong side of the fjord. Across on the other side its light all the time, and the view is incredible.

Old mining buildings:


Another cabin that I would love to own:

So that was the first adventure for spring break. The second was last Saturday, the day my brother arrived. He wasn't due until the evening, so we decided to make a run to Barentsburg, as the weather was so perfect.

The obligatory top-of-the-glacier shots:

Pierre and Johanna being attractive:

Scootersuits - always hot:

Olgeir talks about the fjord:

We've visited Barentsburg before, so I'll try to keep these photos different than the ones I took last time. Entering the town:

Proof that the weather up here changes instantly - Olgeir and Lenin about five minutes later:

Pierre ruins a mature photograph:

A rare, entirely illegal cat:

Olgeir and I decided to walk around town while Pierre and Johanna visited the museum. The following are scenes from that walk:

Walking through the coal processing area:

A cage for unknown purposes:

View from the other edge of Barentsburg:

Buried stairway:

Miner's hospital:

Me, in Barentsburg - in front of the Barentsburg hotel:

On the way back home we stopped at a small abandoned coal loading harbor - actually, the same one we stopped at when I went to Barentsburg last time. Some old Russian boats:

Haunting abandoned constructions against this cold land:

Arctic smoke (fog coming off the fjord) rising in the distance:

The insides of the building hint at the last few decades:

Writing on the walls:

Outside, we see signs of the life that is still around - fox tracks:

And our own set of photographers:

Well that catches things up a little at least. Perhaps I'll write more later tonight. Although as I mentioned, there is no longer any night here - we're still a week or so away from the midnight sun, but it is light out 24 hours a day now. How quickly it changes.


Jeanette said...

Does your scooter have a name?

Unknown said...

also, have you taken your brother out a-scooterin'?

liylak said...

Cool! (In so many ways! Bah dum ching)

Laurel said...

The scooter's name...still under consideration. It has a spirit, at least.

OF COURSE I took my brother out scootering.

Unknown said...

The cage is for Bilo, the foreman's retarded brother. You take much better pictures than I do, Laurel. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

When can I order copies of pictures? I want the buried stairway (picture). It is awesome.