The group is officially now beginning to dwindle. Yesterday, Ian headed south to warmer climates ... with a stop in Seattle to see the sights (and friends), he'll return to Philadelphia at the end of the month. Tomorrow evening I will depart, followed soon thereafter by Glenn (leaving Saturday) and Ali (leaving Sunday).
Today we took our 1100 pounds of equipment to Northern Air Cargo for shipment back to our lab at Villanova. We also returned the gas cylinders we've been using while in Barrow. We had these shipped to Barrow from Anchorage and of course, they had to be returned. We ended up completely overestimating how much gas we'd need, so many of the cylinders were returned still full of helium or nitrogen. Oh well, it is better to have more than you need than to run out in the middle of your work! Our poor F250 had to take on the 2200 lb load for the trip to the airport. Thank heavens it has a good suspension ... even so, the drive into town was taken slow and easy. It was quite the "low rider" excursion (as you can see from the pic below).
So now, it is time to pack up my personal belongings. The mundane tasks of doing laundry and returning keys still have to be checked off my "to do" list. Leaving Barrow will be bittersweet ... I'll be happy to be home again, but realize that comes at the price of leaving a lot of great friends that I have made while here in the field. Luckily, email, phones, and web chats are still readily available for keeping in touch! I'm planning for a return trip next year (assuming the funding fairy is kind to me). But between now and then, who knows, I might just make another trip up here for fun as an official "tourist"! :o)