This was my first view of the site. I had landed at the commercial airport in the town of Cold Bay where I was met by the Civil Engineering Officer, 1st Lt. Gene Smith. He and I then drove seven miles along a winding gravel road to what would be my “home” for the next year. In my entire young life I had never seen such desolate surroundings! I remember thinking about how green and lush the trees and grass were in St Louis when I left, and comparing that with how brown and stark everything was in Cold Bay. As it turned out, I soon learned to enjoy the beauty and outdoor activities that the area had to offer. I would grow to be very fond of this part of Alaska!
There were no trees along the way to the site, just tundra. That tundra was something to behold. It looked like a drunken farmer had run amuck with his plow, making curving furrows that snaked in all directions. Because of its uneven surface and lack of any consistent direction, the tundra was not easily traversed on foot. It was a difficult process keeping one's head up to focus on the destination while, at the same time, stepping from the top of one of these "furrows" to the next. Needless to say, most of the hiking that I did was on the beach, trails, or other terrain that did not have these ruts.
After the dreary, discouraging ride from town(the typically overcast sky didn't help), I was comforted to see the radar site and the familiar white radomes sitting prominently atop the buildings. The domes made me feel at home right away, for I had spent the past three years working with this type of equipment. After traveling thousands of miles, I had finally arrived.