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August 4, 1998

We left Yakutsk headed for Ayan with a fuel stop in Ust-Maya.  1 hour and 40 minutes later we were on the ground fueling and checking weather.  No go.   A night in Ust-Maya.  Now there is N-O-T-H-I-N-G here.  No shower, no nothing.  But Valery and Rafael always want to entertain.  This is a fishing village so they hired 4 little boats to take us down the Aldan Rive.  Now the typical thing happened again.  We were walking across the rocks when Constantine picked Nikki up and carried her to the boat.  We waited until the boat pulled up.  Valery took Nikki into his arms and carried her through the water to the boat. On his way back, he threw an old board out for the 3 of us to walk on.  Se I told ya'll about this. We went down the river where the rest of the crew was.  They were fishing, fixing a fir, and having a good time.  Now, Nikki is probably going to have to shaver her chest after this trip.  She has really broken out of her mold in Siberia.   The 4 of us, Nikki, Khalide, Natasha, and I decided that we could not come home without skinny dipping in a cold river in the Far East of Siberia.  Nikki was tip toeing on the rocks saying "Do you think they can se?  Are we far enough? OH MY GOSH, I cannot believe I am doing this."  Her entry into the cold Siberian River was not one of grace and beauty.  I can mock it but I can't describe it.  It took her about 30 seconds to LOVE it.  We swam until it was getting dark. The rest of the crew were so busy fishing, they never missed us.  Now, Nikki's exit from the river was a bit easier on her.  She was "WOMAN NOW. HEAR HER ROAR".   Katie, bar the door when Nikki hits Nashville again!

Now, I am sending a picture of the sign on our hotel in Ust-Maya.  It is 4 rooms.  One room for the females.  3 beds made out of chicken wire and 1 army cot.  2 rooms for the guys.  7 pallets in one and 6 in the other.  1 bathroom (such as it is).   We have 2 stall toilets and one sink.  17 people passing through at once.   Modesty left this project a long time ago, Nikki will show everyone her newly acquired bicep when she gets back.  She has been showing it to us.  It's only on the right arm.  She calls it her "can't figure out the trim yet, muscle". 

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