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sEaStories - Sondrestrom


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These photos are scanned 35MM colored slides using the Hewlett Packard Transparency Adapter on the HP 4400 scanner...the poor man's slide scanning method. Though not large enough for detail, good enough to give a rough idea. For a really "poor man's" approach to scanning slides, Click Here for a "home brew" adapter.
We start near the Greenland Ice Cap, and work West towards the Port. We were warned not to get too close to the ice cap, as ice pressure on the rocks can cause unexpected explosions of ice, and rock. It is the summer of 1965.
Select Shots
Greenland Ice Cap Quick Sand
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The splash of white is the beginning of the ice cap.

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Between the ice cap, and the tundra in foreground is sand - quick sand.

Run Off Shallow Riverr
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Water run-off from the melting ice.

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More defined as a river.

Taking Chances To Higher Ground
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Three of us walked from "Sondy". Not heeding warnings about the quick sand, we ventured onto the flats. We found out fast how dangerous it was when one of us attempted to jump a small riverlet, and with legs moving fast enough to run on water, did make it across, but went knee deep for a few steps.

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A little further on, we came across a dead caribou...only its antlers showing above the sand...a little riverlet running around it. A beautiful, but deadly place. We kept to the high-ground, which was tundra covered, or in some places just loose sand in mounds. Temps were in the sixties...a beautiful day.

Me Nearing Base
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By appearances, it wasn't arduous. Only one time was it risky while along a deep ravine.

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Nearing the Base. The weather, as usual in the summer is pleasant, and calm. Our "walk" was aided on our return by a lift in a Jeep Stationwagon for some ways, otherwise we would have gotten back in darkness.

Sondrestrom Air Base Western Half
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Neat place...more like a resort.

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Very peaceful...great folks.

The Risky Ravine Shacks, and Boulders
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We edged along the cliff...a bit scary.

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Not a soul in sight...ever. Only in town, and then inside.

The Nine Mile Road Meandering
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Leaving "town"...next stop the port.

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Along the way to the port.

The Lonesome Road Direction Sign For Birds
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No Road Rage here...ever.

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Flight directions to major cities.

Rock Art Tundra, and Moss
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The Great Titons.

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Overnight everything gets brown.

Hills, and Dales Pond
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Once walked from the Port to the Transmitter Site...alone. Dumb thing to do, but hadn't realized the dangers. Nothing happened, but could have been lost forever.

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Came across a pond like this, still, and serene, but heard rushing water...it was directly beneath me...the tundra only holding my weight. Very gingerly I proceeded.

The Port My Port Office
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Very quiet...no ships in...no docks either...ships were worked at anchor.

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The bottom most building...a four bedroom house un-furnished except for a desk, and file cabinet.

The Fleets In 800 Foot Tower
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Two ships...one an MSTS freighter, the other a Danish "Scrap" ship. Once a year the Danish "Junky" would sail in, load up with AirForce trucks, dozers, and what not just for the taking. Told me after repairing one crane, or dozer, the trip is paid for....Neat...what?

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Tower for sale...one dollar takes it away. Once part of experiments with ultra-long-wave signal transmissions. There was another smaller - five-hundred foot tower for sale also, plus dozens of portable towers lying everywhere...for the taking.

A Good Climb The Port From The Fjord
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The AF paid a dollar to anyone who would replace the light bulbs...a dollar a foot...that is.

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Photo taken from a ship at anchor. Could anything look more serene? One thing...the fishin' was good.

There are numerous sites about Sondrestrom, even in '65 - the year I was there...sites giving the history of the place, and great photos, but none showing my "office", or about me.
To return from whence you came, Click Here, or on the Astern Button below.

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