We are just so lucky!
To be here in this crazy place of extreme weather and
astonishing scenery. To be "forced" to do
challenges that really are challenging and stretching,
but enormous fun to do. To work with a bunch of people
who are all so prepared to help and work together to
try solve problems - and who are so creative. To have
people available in such different areas of knowledge
and skill too is just so interesting (as well as crucial
for getting the challenges done!).
And now for this challenge we're being flown and helicoptered
to Meteor Crater in Arizona. It's just too good to be
true! It's a long journey, though, after an excruciatingly
early start, and we don't have very long to make measurements.
Making the measurements isn't so easy either ... it's
amazingly windy and very, very hot. And the terrain
isn't exactly smooth and easy. In the lab, or the mine,
it's so easy to decide what to do without realising
how much harder the fieldwork will actually be.
At the end of the day I'm desperate to make more measurements
to help us estimate the diameter of the crater. It's
clearly not circular, so we need to try to estimate
the diameter at several points to get a reasonable average.
Ian, the film crew and Kate all need to film Ian doing
some geology, so I go off to do another measurement
alone. It's a nightmare! The wind is so strong now that
my cardboard table is almost wrenched away and keeps
bending and breaking, the string is pulled like a kitestring
and the tripods are blown over. It's all so ridiculously
hard it becomes funny.
I eventually manage to do it all - with huge errors,
I suspect - and sit and wait for the others to come
pick me up. They take hours and hours, and the sun sets
over Meteor Crater. It's a staggering view; all I can
do is wait, breathe deeply, and enjoy the scenery -
it feels a real privilege.