The Daily Grind

The end is in sight: hallelujah! I’m certainly ready for this play to come to an end.

The hardest thing about this gig has been the harshness of the environment. I truly not a desert person; but even Las Vegas or Phoenix look scenic compared to the brilliant sterile monotony here. (They also have grass and palm trees.)

Have you ever seen a dun-colored horse? They must have come from around here. Everything is dun-colored. The dirt. The (dirt) roads. All roads, in fact, since dust soon obscures the once-fresh asphalt. The buildings – even if they don’t start out dun-colored, the dust accumulation soon makes them that way. The clothes – even those of us not wearing camoflage uniforms try hard to blend in by wearing similar shades. The vehicles – even the navy blue ones end up dun-colored. I’m surely looking forward to seeing colors again.

How bright is the sun here? Let’s just say that even with only 10% transmission factor on my sunglasses, I’m still squinting. One never goes outside without sunglasses. Ever.

This base is not all that big, about the size of Bainbridge Island (the runway and hangers take up at least half the real estate). But the speed limit is 20 KPH (about 12 MPH). Basewide. So we never get out of second gear (all vehicles are stick-shift). Can you imagine driving around Bainbridge only in second gear? It would take a while!


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