As I may have mentioned, today was not a regular day and thus requires more than a typical blog post. This morning, I got up at 6am to head over to SNOLab, a particle physics lab located 2km underground.
In order to get there, you have to go down in a cage through the Vale mine which is why we had to get there so early — a 2km elevator doesn’t go whenever you want it to. There was a huge long process to follow and I think a timeline will best describe today’s events…
6:30 Erica picked Carly, Steve and me up
7:00 Arrival at SNOLab where we were greeted by Sam and where we sorted out our mining gear: Steel-toed boots, onesie, helmet, gloves, belt and safety glasses. Everything was made for men, so sizes were interesting.
7:45 Paperwork where we signed our lives away…4 times
8:00 Down, down we went. They were nice and lowered the cage at hal-speed for us (aka 1000 feet/minute) which if you know your math means that we hurdled towards the ground for about 6 minutes. Sam was nice and gave up gum. Apparently the reason we went so “slowly” was so that there were no SNO-falls (people fainting). We were fairly squished, standing in 4 rows, shoulder to shoulder and tried to make light conversation in the dark.
8:06 Arrival at the bottom of the shaft where we got out and walked for 1.4 km
I have no idea what times were after this so you’re just going to get a list…
– Shower time…Because SNOLab is super clean (aka less than 1g of dust in the lab) we had to shower, wash our hair and get completely new clothes (t-shirt, steel-toed shoes, socks, helmets, hair nets, safety goggles and onesies). Luckily we got to keep our own underwear…the guys apparently did not.
– Snack time: Fudgeos, tea, coffee and juice boxes
– SNOLab time! We wandered through SNOLab while Sam gave us details about all the different experiements. Most of it went right over my head, but just being there was super cool. They don’t do tours for just anyone so we felt super special and apparently we’re the last Sci Comm class to be able to go down for a while because of what the experiments are changing to soon. We all had massive smiles on our faces the whole time!
– Return to the shower room where we put the mining gear back on (and got to keep our onesie as a souvenir — I sense a Halloween costume in the near future…)
– Return walk through the mine
– Up, up, up and up on the elevator. This time at full speed.
– Gave our mining gear back
– Erica drove us all back home
If you want to read more about other parts of my day (because, yes, that was only the beginning, you will have to head over to my Girl Guide blog to read all about the Girl Guide Training Conference I flew to this evening!