Day Ten

October 25, 1996

windbreaks for planeslocal visitors

Dates have been off for the last few days. What can I say... I haven’t been in the office or looked at a calendar (or really cared what day it was). Good thing because today we didn’t make any progress. Clouds and light winds this morning. At about 9 am the wind went wild with 25-30 mph wind speeds and gusts up to 35. We held the plane airspeed indicator into the wind to measure it.

The planes were securely tied but Kent’s was still twisting in the wind. We had to pull the trailer and trucks in as windbreaks. At one point the pens started to lift off so we tied them to Kent’s pickup.

We made some progress on the project however. Shari and Jennifer from CBS came in from New York. They had been tracking progress and had hoped that we would be to the refuge by the weekend. We all holed up in the trailer with cameras while Jennifer asked us questions about the chronology and details of the trip and recorded a video journal. The rain and sleet got so loud on the trailer that we had to stop about two thirds through the trip report. Due to the extended estimate for arrival, Shari and Jennifer went back to Albuquerque and probably back to New York for the weekend.

The Navajo landscape is intriguingly beautiful. At first glance is appears drab and desolate but there is a peace here. The Indians are not bunched together in towns for the most part but have small simple homes scattered far apart. Off from almost every house is a hogan. Here the hogans are octagonal and look to be made of logs with domed or sloping roofs. They stand off from the house several hundred feet. Many houses have simple corrals close by. The people everywhere have been so friendly and warm.

All day, we watched the clouds move across the valley. The earth is grey and when wet very sticky because of the clay. About the only vegetation are giant tumbleweeds. Tonight I went for a short drive down a deserted road until it ended. I could look in every direction and see little sign of civilization. The rain/snow has let up and there were multiple layers of clouds in the sky. All of them were different shades of grey from cotton white to charcoal steel gray. Beautiful.

The moon rise tonight was spectacular. At first it was just a faint light area in the clouds but as it rose, it came through completely full and pale yellow. The winds are still blowing however and with the moon as a stationary point, you can get an idea of wind speed seeing how fast clouds pass.

Forecasts are for showers clear until Tuesday.

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