Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Antarctic Moments, Part II, Cape Evans Flagging Trip

Scott's Hut

Last week started out rough. I just couldn't get into any kind of flow. I wasn't being too productive at work. I was being too social. I was missing work outs. Nothing was working. Things weren't bad, but they also weren't good. That changed on Friday when I went back out to flag the Cape Evans route that I had deflagged seven months ago.

The main room of Scott's Hut.

The 1916 Ross Sea Party losses on a bed post in Scott's Hut. The bottom one is Shack? because he did not make it across Antarctica as planned (instead we have the story of the Endurance).

After a short snow machine safety course, we took a pisten bully and two snow machines out to Scott's Hut at Cape Evans. I'm always awed to think about the explorers who spent so much time in these huts. The Antarctica that I am experiencing is very different from what they experienced. They probably didn't even have cookie day on Wednesday!!

A bike in Scott's Hut.

Penguin eggs in Scott's Hut - the missing link between fish and birds

There was a team here over the summer and winter restoring hut artifacts. I think one of the pieces they returned since I was last here was a box of penguin eggs. I believe they were fetched from Cape Crozier in the journey recounted in the Worst Journey in the World.

Icebergs in the Ross Sea off Cape Evans

The 300 foot Barnes glacier, Cape Evans, and our ride home.

On the way out to the hut, I got to drive a snow machine. It was great because I got to drive for a while instead of stopping every 150 feet to drill a hole and put in a flag. Unfortunately, that meant I also just had to ride in the pisten bully for the first part of the ride back. At first, it seemed like a good idea to warm up, but it got boring in a hurry. Riding on top of the pisten bully is the way to go. Ask Dave.

Dave B tosses flags out from the pisten bully to the hole drillers.

Our snow machines in front of the seal hole and McMurdo.

I think the trip back to town took almost five hours, but it was a blast once I got out of the pisten bully. I warmed right up because I was hopping on and off the snow machine so much. After that, it was just nice to see the scenery. I'm not sure I'll see that area again before I leave. I'm starting to say my goodbyes.

A Weddell Seal.

I think my favorite goodbye of the day was also a hello. For the first time since February, I saw something other than a human alive. I saw a seal near town and we were fortunate enough that researchers were able to take us a little closer and my zoom lens was able to get me the rest of the way there. Another Antarctic moment was complete.

For mom.


  1. Thank you!!!! One of the best of you from down there. Glad to hear you are getting outside a little more.jawdrwv

  2. aaaww that is one cute seal! good picture of you, too. :-)

    don't penguin eggs rot after awhile? i'm surprised to see them on display...