Monday morning I woke up in the cook truck and started loading the student bags around 6 in the morning. All night I heard people walking around the truck and realized some folks in Fairbanks really don't sleep.
After that, Bill and I took off in the banana boat. The truck is slow and our 70 mile journey was going to take at least 3 hours since a lot of it is uphill. Our first stop along the way was to pick up some potties.
Here's the geo mafia passin us.
Gold mines were scattered along the highway.
The road we were on followed a major pipeline. After staying a few nights in Fairbanks I know now what the main 'intention' of this town is... gold and oil.
Finally, we arrived at an old drilling campsite in Livengood. The campsite was dotted with rundown trailers and machinery. A few of the buildings had been kept up a bit and housed a gold mining group.
Here's Bill and Lara chatting about the past. She used to be a geology student at UAF and now works for the mining company.
Bill talked with the boss of the camp while I scanned the walls... "Double Gold Resources at Livengood..." Bill hooked up with another guy and he helped us find a suitable place to make our camp.
Hmmm...Hmmm....This site looks cool to me. The students arrived around 3 PM and set up their tents.
Here's the boys putting together the main galley tent.
Folks eating their first lunch. For lunchtime I just throw out sandwiches, wraps, snacks, granola bars, trail mix, veggies, fruit, etc. and they pack it up in a bag for their field bushwack excursion.
Once they started packin up to leave for the field I began deep cleaning the kitchen.
Here they are getting ready...
Once they left I checked out the camp.
See the moose terds.
After my little hike I began prepping for dinner. On the first night is was gonna be easy Wawaiin ham n' cheese sandwiches. Nothing to elaborate, just something filling and tasty. My goal was to see how much they would consume and how the kitchen equipment worked.
This dish was actually created by my buddy Franko in Australia. Thanks man.
Always keeping an inventory and notes on what they like and dislike.
They return around 7 PM and get their grub... vulture they are haha, but I don't blame them. For the days after this it was around 50 deg F and rainy the whole time. They are out for at least 8 hours hiking through the bush, in rain, tramping through creeks, while obtaining rocks samples and observations, which they eventually map. So they need all the calories they can get.
After eating they get to work on their maps. The goal of the camp: be able to map geological findings obtained firsthand from the field, and furthermore generate some ideas about processes and history.
I just hang with my second baby... the guitar. They say they like to hear the music while they're working so I'll keep it up.
Morning comes and goes the next day, and they grab their lunch again. The suns out... just for the morning.
When they leave this time I get to writting some lyrics and tanning. Rough this place is... ;) But, keep in mind I'm up at 5 to start breakfast and don't get to bed until 11 once the dishes are done and the students crawl into their tents. My siesta is from 12-2, other than that I'm cooking and planning.
Lyrics inspired by the local enviroment.
Mexican night. Stevo sheltered in the warm and stinky wet clothes drying tent.
Oh ya, the kitchen is my bed too. I love it.
Sunday morning I woke up and everything was wet. So much ran put a giant puddle on the roof and the 3 hatches were leaking, big time. So I cooked in my rain gear.
Good thing about being a cook at the poles... I'm usually always in a warm room.
Great American Breakfast.
Setting up lunch. Yes, it's cold and wet, but I'm used to it.
Since it was icky I decied to use the leftover beans and rice from Mexican night, and the leftover ham from the Hawaiin ham n' cheese sandwiches, to make a Louisana Spicey Sausage Gumbo. Don't know if such a dish exists, but I made it haha.
I only have to do dishes twice a day, for dinner the students do it.
Can't wait to go through a winter and get 12 hours of sleep everynight again. I've gone through two years of summer and it's going to continue when I head back to the south pole. One day I'll see the stars again...
Wake up at 5. Coffee.
The old fashioned way.
This morning I got my routine down and am feeling the flow of the kitchen. Time for some bacon, egg, and cheese baggelwiches.
Today was our last day in Livengood and after breakfast everyone packed up.
We broke down the camp.
I took the trash out of the Eagle.
Bill wrote down the gas while I munched away on some trail mix. Can't wait for a shower. When we leave to Denali in 36 hours it will be 10 days without a shower.
The sun started to come out again on our way back :)
This has been the highlight of my trip so far. Beauty in the hillsides. Well, actually, the marathon was cool and writing this one song I got stuck in my head has been a blast, and cooking has been fun too. Everything's been a highlight. Just wait for Denali's photos. Denali will be 10 days without any communication, so bear with me, I'm still here... I'm just hanging with the bears.