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> The Green Valley--from origin to terminus, From snowmelt to river, we begin
John_Sode
post Jul 25 2005, 11:12 PM
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Today is a very busy day. As soon as the chopper arrives different teams will board for the flight to various locations within the valley. Our goal is to understand how the valley works, and, in turn, why it is so green and lush compared to South River. As I listen to our assignments, I learn that I have been assigned to the water quality group. I am thrilled to learn this, as our group will fly towards the Greenland Ice Sheet until we locate the beginnings of the valley and then hike the entire valley, observing and sampling water sources along the way.

Early in the morning the chopper arrives. Our gear is lined up, ready to go, for our team leaves on the first flight. We fly East, toward the massive Greenland Ice Sheet, up the valley until we arrive at a divide--a place where two drainage basins meet, one flowing east towards the massive Greenland Ice Sheet and ultimately joining another river system on its way west towards Baffin Bay, and one flowing west, through the Green Valley, on its way to Baffin Bay and the massive ocean basins covering 3/4 of the planet. This basin, flowing west, the drainage basin that belongs to the Green Valley, is the one we have choosen to investigate.

The rough terrain leaves no place for a safe landing. Our pilot hovers the craft, searching for a landing site. Soon a site is selected, the pilot gently sets the craft lightly upon a small snow sheet, using skis attached to the runners to land the craft.
We unload our gear--hiking gear, day packs, sampling and test equipment, and electronic gear for a conference call. Everything must be carried upon our backs.
We unload our equipment, and locate a place to wait until the chopper can return with the rest of our team. The brisk wind sends us scurrying for a place behind a small rock ridge while we wait, and explore the terrain.


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