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  Thursday, July 28, 2005

The big question when everyone woke up and looked outside today was �Are we going to make it out of Summit camp? Would the planes be able to arrive today?� It was still cloudy, but the clouds were high enough for the planes to land. The visibility was good and a narrow blue streak could be seen on the eastern horizon. The temperature was -8 C and the winds were low. The weather looked good for flights out and we hoped it stayed that way. The two Swedish men that had arrived at Summit three days earlier were also leaving to continue their trek across the Greenland ice sheet. They were well rested and re-supplied to continue their journey. It was quite a sight to see them skiing with a harness pulling a large sled full of gear and supplies.

The first flight arrived right on schedule at 10:15 a.m., and this flight was to take the group that didn�t leave yesterday. As this plane prepared to leave, the plane we were scheduled to fly out on landed at 11:45 am. We had already packed and loaded our luggage onto a pallet, so now we had to wait for the plane to offload cargo and fuel for the camp, and to load the cargo and luggage going out. During our wait, we helped the camp staff put a pallet of frozen food that had come in on the first flight down into the �freezer� � a tunnel that goes deep into the snow where the temperature remains about -25 C. After this, we had about 20 minutes for lunch before boarding our flight. The cooks had made burgers, fries and fresh fruit. It was Dawn�s last meal to prepare, as she was also leaving on our flight.

At 12:40, the call came to go to the plane and wait for boarding. We said our goodbyes and thank yous to the camp staff and scientists remaining, took a group picture of the five of us leaving, and climbed onto the plane. The takeoff was bumpy as the plane gathered speed down the ski-way. First the nose lifted up, and then the plane gathered more speed and the bumping stopped. We were airborne. The flight to Kangerlussuaq was noisy as usual, but we had nice views outside of the windows of the ice sheet. Two hours later the plane was landing in Kangerlussuaq. Since the pilots didn�t need a rocket-assisted takeoff, we were kept on the plane until the ground crew had removed the eight rocket canisters attached to the side of the aircraft. When we did get off the plane, we were happy to see some familiar faces on the tarmac to give us a ride to town. Commander, Bride, and Bermie, who had all flown out on Tuesday, took us back to the Kangerlussauq International Science Support (KISS) building. We were all very happy to feel the warmth of the 63 F weather when we arrived. We relaxed in front of the KISS building while we waited for our luggage. Then, after showering and organizing our things, we walked the mile or so to the main airport building and had dinner. Our Greenlandic/Danish dinner consisted of sausages, boiled potatoes and gravy, red cabbage, bread, salad, and cake. Throughout the evening we went for walks, watched movies, played games, and chatted with friends or family online.

NOTE: This was entire journal entry, not just page 1.

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