Tuesday, September 11, 2012

McMurdo Station Once Again.

We actually flew to McMurdo twice this trip south.  The first time on August 20th we flew the 5 hours one way only to circle for half an hour and not be able to land due to bad weather...so we had another 5 hours of flight time back to Christchurch.  Besides the 10.5 hours in the air, we also had 4 hours of pre and post flight prep.  Three days later we arrived in Antarctica for Kelly's 7th season and Dave's 13th season.
On board the C-17 is Kelly, Pete, Lisa and Twan.

Dave, Lisa and Twan with Pete's hands behind Dave giving him antlers.

Here are a few McMurdo sunsets from the past week.  This photo was taken over two weeks after our arrival and this was the first day we saw the actual sun.


Back In Christchurch, New Zealand.

We Arrived in Christchurch on Saturday August 18th.  We had orientation on Sunday and were scheduled to fly to Antarctica on Monday.  During our time in Christchurch we walked to the CBD to see how things had changed.
For the first time since the February 2011 earthquake were finally able to get to Cathedral Square to see what the Cathedral looked like.

There are numerous cranes throughout the city taking down the damaged buildings.  So far 800 of the 1200 buildings scheduled for demolition have come down.

This bar, Coyotes was one of our favorite places to hang out before the earthquake.

These containers on Cashel St. have become temporary stores, restaurants and banks.

Cashel St. was very popular prior to the earthquakes and it's the first area in the CBD to come back to life.

More shots of the container stores with cranes in the background.

Here are more shots from Cashel St.


This site is where the Crowne Plaza stood.  That was the hotel we stayed in two nights before the February 2011 quake.

The Isaac Theatre Royal

New Regent St.

This empty lot was the site of some of favorite restaurants like The Bodhi Tree and Bayok II.

Since the first earthquake in September 2010, there are been over 10,000 earthquakes and aftershocks in Christchurch.

Sydney From The Air.

We had a very long route to Christchurch this year.  We flew Yakima-Seattle-Los Angeles-Sydney-Auckland-Christchurch.  It was just over 40 hours of travel.  It was a beautiful day in Sydney when we arrived.
Here's a shot of Sydney Harbour as we came in.  You can see the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Botanical Gardens, Beaches, Marina's and downtown.

LAX Layover.

On our way south to New Zealand this year we took advantage of the layover time in LA to have dinner with a childhood friend of Dave's that lives in the area.  We had a couple of colorful Martini's while we waited for Dawn to arrive.
Dave and his Cosmo with Kelly's Appletini.

Dawn & Dave.

Kelly, Dave and Dawn saying goodbye after dinner.

Yakima River float.

After our Seattle weekend we met up with some friends in Yakima for a river float.  It was very hot and the perfect day for a 10 mile, 4 hour trip down the Yakima River.
Dave, Marty and Steven after inflating our tubes and raft.

Kelly and Steven.

Dave and Marty relaxing on the river.

Steven enjoying his Coors Light!

Dave on the river.

Marty then Steven jumped off the rocks into the river.

Kelly & his Coors Light.

Seattle Friends.

After leaving Randy's Sunday, but before heading back to Selah to Kelly's family's house we spent the afternoon with friends in Seattle.
Here we are having a cocktail with our friend Paul in Fremont.

Another beautiful summer day in Seattle and we went to a "Pool Party" for our friend Julie.  She had just arrived home that morning from working in Africa.  The party was hosted at Elizabeth's Uncles home in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle.
Here's Dave getting a hug from Julie.

The back yard and a great view of Puget Sound.

The newly married couple Drew and Nichole arriving.

Dave visiting with Julie.

Rebecca's looking fabulous!

Julie and Elizabeth with their pitcher of drinks.

Randy's Apple Butter Making Weekend.

Friday August 10th we went to Randy's in Monroe, WA for his annual Apple Butter Making Party.  Since we were there the day before, we got to help him get set-up for the big day.  We also got to spend some time with our friend Alan from Wisconsin and his friend Robin, Randy's parents Jan & Roma Jo and his Brother Robin who were also arrived on Friday.
Here we are setting up the tents.  We put them up not so much for rain, but for the shade because it was to be sunny and hot.

One tent is up and we're working on the second

Randy & Robin with Dave opening the cans of applesauce on Saturday morning.

Roma Jo stirring the apple butter as Robin supervises.

Kelly gets a turn stirring as Josh & Elekta watch.

Robin & Alan watching the festivities.

Diane takes her turn as Lexi, Syd & Jan stand by.

Diane stirring with Rich, Randy, Lexi, Syd & Jan in the background.

Rich takes his turn at the kettle.

Jan visiting with Steve Mock.

Lexi & Syd try a little apple butter on a cracker.

Diane tries a sample too...

Jan is checking the apple butter to see if it's ready to start canning.

It looks like it's ready...

Randy & Robin pull out the paddle as Jan scraps off the apple butter

This group is ready to start canning.

Scooping it out of the kettle.

The canning process in full swing.

Randy, Jan, Robin and Josh.

A table full of filled jars.

Randy made a sign for all the participants to sign.

Matt getting Henry some snacks.

Henry's in the car and ready to head home after a long day.

Kelly was texted this photo after the Graber's got home of Syd enjoying her jar of apple butter.

Steve, Josh & Jan Mock ready for the drive back to Dillion, MT.

Randy, Roma Jo, Jan & Robin seeing the Mocks off.

It was a fun day with us making 108 pints of apple butter.  Some thought it was the best batch ever.