This morning, the weather was clear in McMurdo for the first time since I arrived on Sunday. It's still sunrise here, which lasts for a week or so since the sun doesn't rise and set; it only spins in circles overhead. The beginning of summer is marked by sunrise, when the sun slowly breaks the horizon. Likewise, the end of summer is marked by sunset. Those "golden hours" that occur in the northern world right after sunrise and right before sunset? That's a few days here. And if it's clear, it's simply gorgeous. In a fit of insomnia, I got out around 3 AM with my camera. The weather held this amazing golden state all through my morning of digging out buried fuel valves on the Ross shelf until midday, when another storm blew in and the mountains were once again obscured from view.
When I arrived here, people kept telling me that McMurdo is a beautiful place. But since it's more or less been storming non-stop, all I've been able to see is the mining town of a station, which is less than impressive. But when the clouds dispersed and the wind died, I understood. This place defies adjectives sometimes.