When you think about modern day adventurers, how many of them live and work in the continental United States? On American Prairie Reserve, our staff spend their lives submersed in the grassland ecosystem in all seasons. As winter rolls in across the plains, extreme weather teaches us a lot about what it means to survive on the prairie. Below, one of our employees, Lars, gives a firsthand account of working at this remote outpost, where severe weather dictates human life yet rarely interrupts our non-human neighbors.
– Sean Gerrity
WRITTEN BY Lars Anderson
At 40 degrees below zero, the air burns the back of your throat when you breathe deeply. Your nostrils freeze up with every breath of the clear, pure air. This air is so still and dry that it amplifies the crunch of your boots on the fine crystalline snowflakes. Insulated clothes take away much of the bite, but the creeping, penetrating cold still works its way into your bones. At this temperature, things just don’t work like normal. Fingers fumble with nuts and bolts, pickups barely chug and sputter to life, water pipes freeze, and hydraulic fluid refuses to flow.