Sunday, November 12, 2006
After five years and six seasons on the Ice, I finally
made it to Cape Evans. Located fourteen miles from
McMurdo, it's considered a fairly easy trip, but the
Recreation Department never ran trips while I was here.
Cape Evans is a wonderful place. Kind of one of those
"you know you're in Antarctica" type places. The hut
at Cape Evans is known as the Terra Nova hut, named
after Captain Scott's ship and was used on Scott's last
Antarctic Expedition from 1910-1913. Shackleton later
used the hut on his attempt to cross Antarctica in 1917.
It's amazing how much "stuff" is inside the hut and how
well it's preserved. The dry, cold air here preserves
things for years and most of the items are over 100 years
old. I had to laugh when I saw a 100 year old bottle of
Heinz Ketchup on the shelf. So there were ketchup fans
like me even back then!
Even though this was a exploration expedition, it was
also a scientific expedition as well. Lots of equipment
remains, including beakers and a box of penguin eggs.
There were also a lot of personal artifacts as well. This
is the last bed in a building that Captain Scott ever
slept in. He died coming back from the South Pole on
this expedition. Newspapers from London, favorite biscuits
and even Cherry-Garrard's socks were inside. On the edge
of the hut are the stables where they kept ponies and
a failed attempt of using snow-shoes for the ponies.
Outside the hut is a post card view of how most people
picture Antarctica. Snowy, windswept and large. I felt
very small in the scope of both geography and history
at Cape Evans. It was a beautiful day and it's a place
that I will remember for a long time.
Posted by Tom Hamann at 1:47 PM