2 December, 2000
We are heading south today! We are scheduled to leave at 11:30PM on this Kiwi Air Force C-130.
On our way!! I can't believe it...I am really going to Antarctica. It is only a little crowded in this plane. I am glad that we are only going seven hours today. There are 40 of us stashed in front of the cargo. There are folks from Sweden, Italy, and China on board as well as the standard compliment of Kiwi's and American's including a lady Major and her C-130 flight crew from Georgia.
Once we arrived on the Ice Runway we we taken in this big orange bus to the actual station a couple of miles away. I can't explain what it is like to be here on the sea ice, to look around and see for miles and miles. It is so clear here that everything appears larger and closer. It is also sort of scary to think that only a couple of meters of ice are between me and the very cold and deep ocean, and a very heavy airplane just landed on it!
Wow what a sight to see...Mt. Erebus rising from the ice shelf and reaching to a height of over 13000 feet. It seems as if the mountain is only a few miles away but in fact it is closer to 40. I have dreamed of seeing this living mountain. Erebus is an active volcano and as I approached McMurdo station I could see that the exposed rock is simply black volcanic. In town there really isn't mud since the cinders have not had to change into soil.
An added bonus is to see Scott's Hut as we approached town. I really had not thought that I would actually see where Scott's expedition stayed in 1901-1904. I hope that I will be in McMurdo long enough to take a tour over to the hut. Trips are only given a couple of times per week. If not now maybe on my return in January.
Well finally I can get out of my ECW and take a short walk over to the shipping building to get one of my bags. We have two orange bags, one to check and one to carry. I had to get the checked bag about two hours after the flight. It is amazingly warm here in McMurdo...a balmy 20 degrees F. Most folks are kinda cool in this weather but not a Montana thick blood!
And last but not least today should be the view from my room at 10:30PM. I am of course looking north! It is so fantastic to be actually in Antarctica. I feel very fortunate to be a teacher who has the opportunity to parcticipate in a program like TEA and more fortunate to have a family that supports my great adventures.
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