The state of the Dome
The beloved Dome, which served as the South Pole station from 1975 until 2005 when building demolition started, is slowly getting reduced to just a metal shell on the snow. The big wooden sign that said “The United States of America Welcomes You to Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station” was removed from the entrance and then the tunnel itself that was the entrance to the Dome was also taken away.
What is left now in front is a metal arch that connects the fuel tank storage arch to the old garage arch and it completely blocks off the front of the Dome. To enter the Dome, you have to come from inside the arch, go out a hole in the back of the arch.
The old Dome now just sits there, not connected to anything else. Todd is one of the carpenters working on constructing big wooden doors to seal off the Dome and arch from drifting snow during the winter.
Inside the Dome, it looks pretty much the same as last year, just a big warehouse for mostly food, like a frozen Costco. On Fridays, a few of us do the “food pull” to bring up the food that will be eaten the following week. You have a list of items and using a sled for a shopping cart, you go around to the different aisles pulling cases of broccoli florets or chicken breasts.
You’ll find some casualties scattered around like a bag of polenta that broke open. I’m not sure why the hard hat is there.
All of the cases on the shopping list will get loaded into triwall boxes like the one Nate is standing in. Then on Mondays, the pallets of boxes get forklifted over to the Elevated Station, lifted up to the second level on a hoist, unloaded and stocked in the kitchen, outside on a deck or in an empty berthing wing. Unfortunately when they designed this new station, they forgot to add storage space so we stash stuff wherever we can find empty room and during the winter, food is literally stored in empty bedrooms.
The arch that used to house the old garage, carp shop and gym is now the site for a new building for the Logistics department and storage room for "DNF" (Do Not Freeze) cargo. Inside construction will take place over the winter. The thing I'm not sure about is why there is a window at the top.