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> Base Camp, Home for how long???????????
post Jul 25 2005, 10:34 PM
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July 18, 2005

The flight is over, we are hovering over base camp, slowly, steadily descending until we touch down.

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Now the work begins. How long will this be our home? One thing is certain--we need to prepare for a major storm that is brewing. First things first, however. As the chopper leaves we survey base camp, set-up already underway by the advance team. Personal gear is gathered up and sorted according to use and need. Of course, one of the first things we undertake is an inspection of camp, especially our tents, our home for most of the next six days.

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All day long we work on setting up camp. We must be especially diligent about our tents due to the high winds expected on Wednesday. In order to prepare for the storm, we fill sandbags from the river and use them, along with heavy river rocks, to construct top anchors for our tent stakes. I can remember doing this same thing when camping along the Atlantic Seaboard--burying tent pegs deep in the sand and placing rocks or sand bags over the stakes to help anchor them in place.

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The last thing before bedtime is making final arrangements for tommorrow's work.
Everything must be ready to go before we go to sleep. Tommorrow, early in the morning, we will board the choppers and fly 10 to 15 kilometers inland. Like the search for the Holy Grail, we are searching for the beginnings, the beginning of the Green Valley. Our search, while not that of the Holy Grail, is to try and understand what makes one valley rich green lush and vegetated while another valley, 15 to 20 kilometers away, is almost barren of life. Where will our search lead? What will we find? What will we learn? The answers lie hidden in the valley itself, if only we can find them.
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