Early phone call: “Fly!”.
Quickly dress in ECW’s, pack bags, in car to airstrip 9 AM. Weather in Salekhard is clear, crisp, -13’C.
Load stuff into plane (pic 1289).
Pilot Vladimir in left seat; I am in the right-hand seat (pic 1290).
Fly north over vastness of frozen nowhere (pic 1306)
Halfway up Yamal Peninsula, fly over yurt camp of indigenous Nenets people, middle of ice, yurt + stuff + reindeer. (Pic 1319).
Not much further, encounter wall of blowing snow. No possibility to proceed, because we could not see how/where to land on tundra at Bely Island, still another 300 clicks north. Complete white-out.
Pilot aborts mission, turns around.
3 hours later, back in Salekhard, snowing, blowing, -9’C.
Olga had checked us out of ‘nice’ hotel (too expensive for her: $80 / night). Checked us into ‘economy’ hotel ($55 / night). I will be considerate, and muse on whether one can use the term ‘quaint’ to describe linoleum.
Dinner in Linoleum Hotel’s cafeteria was so astonishing, it reminded me of my childhood in postwar England. (who put the “omni” in “omnivore” ??). Retreated to Linoleum room with bottle of beer to rinse out the greasy taste (pic 1322).
Most likely, we cannot successfully fly at this time of year: weather is too unpredictable, can change from clear to snow/fog/ice in 2 hours. Will have to return in ‘summer’ = mosquitos almost as large as airplane.
Tie up loose ends of organizational issues tomorrow; depart SLY-SVO; back to LAX in a couple of days, such a ridiculous contrast.
 “It’s the Arctic”
 “I’ll be back”