26 November, 1997

Shackleton     11/26/97

My last day at Siple Dome began early in the morning with a wake up call 
for the plane ride to McMurdo.   We were suppose to leave last night but 
the weather prevented the plane from taking off so we slept inside in a 
Jamesway. The Navy personnel were great about staying over night since 
they could not see what was on the ground or ahead of them here nor could 
they land at McMurdo last night and as it turned out early in the 

I got to go out to the C130 and sit in the pilot's seat and talk to a 
pilot. Jun Lee was the pilot from the night before who landed our plane.  
He allowed me to get my picture taken in the cockpit and on the 
instrument panel.  It was really neat.  The C130 is a cargo plane and 
because we were on ice it was on skis.   Looks like a bird from the side 
which made me hungry.

When we flew out of Siple Dome the sky below us was filled with clouds.  
The clouds  looked like small waves in water.  It was kind of neat to see 
as we flew on for the two hours.  As we approached Mc Murdo, the 
TransAntarctic mountains could be see above the cloud cover on the left 
and the top Mt.Erabus could be seen on the right. Above the clouds the 
plume from Mt. Erabus could be seen clearly as it gently blew straight 
into the sky.  The top of the volcano was covered in snow  and it 
reminded me of pictures that I had once seen in a book on volcanoes.  
Antarctica at its very best was being presented to us above the clouds 
before we landed.

We were leaving behind great people that we had met and got to know 
alittle bit.  I enjoyed my stay at Siple Dome and think the people there 
are the greatest.  Because of that I have a request from my friends back 
home that are reading this message.  Please write the people at Siple 
Dome or send them a post card for Christmas.   They are a long way from 
home and would really like to get mail from everyone.

Send the cards and letters to:

          Siple Dome Camp
          % Lin Denham
          ASA McMurdo
          Siple Dome
          PSC 469 BOX 700
          APO AP
          96599 - 5700

If you include your address, some of them may even write back like a pen 

Shutey  11/26/97

As I leave Siple Dome, I can reflect on the beauty of the ice field and 
the glory of Mother Nature. It is really a unique experience to have 
stayed in a tent on an ice field that is nearly 1000 meters thick. To be 
able to see the Sun Dogs, the sun at all hours of the day still shining 
brightly and the colors of blue mixed with the ice and the sky is breath 
taking in its self.  
I can't forget the nights of howling winds and blowing snow and waking to 
question my sanity of being in a tent in this kind of storm only to get 
up in the morning realizing it is a great honor to be here with the 
clothing, transportation and support that we have.  Who can forget the 
white ground and sky mixing so that all topography seems flat and that 
there is no horizon or dividing line between the earth and sky?  To be 
counted among the few that get to actually go out on the ice and see its 
glory  while still being relatively comfortable all the time is a marvel 
and a compliment to our science community.   It is because of past 
explorers like Scott, Amunson and Shackleton that we have longed to go to 
Antarctica and the scientist that are here that enables us to modify 
Antarctica's climate to fit our needs and make us comfortable.

This experience is one that I will never forget.  
I need to thank the National Science Foundation for making it happen for 
me and Dr. Mary Albert for taking me along on her project.   I also need 
to thank Stephanie Shipp and Sam, who's last name escapes me, along with 
Rice University for the computer support and general support.  Your 
kindness will not be forgotten.  I think that this has been one of the 
most exciting things that I have ever done.  I hope that I will be able 
to share my experiences and a joy of the science and the beauty that goes 
with Antarctica with my students and friends where ever they are.   This 
has been a pleasure to share my journey with you, the reader, and I hope 
that you have enjoyed going to Antarctica with me and Shackleton.

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