Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Failed Journey

Like Shackleton's famous journey, not all
trips have to make it to the planned destination
to be successful, or even memorable. I just got
back from trying to go to Cape Evans for the
second time this year. All went smoothly until
the Delta we were riding in started to overheat.
When it was turned off to cool down, it wouldn't
restart. Thankfully, Matt, who we've wintered
with several times in the past was on the trip
and he was able to solve the problem. However,
our guides decided to turn around even though we
were only halfway there as a precaution.

Because we stopped near Tent Island, I got some
really good pictures of it. I like to refer to
Tent Island as "My Island" since I got to hike
to the top of it in 2001 and it receives very
few visits from other Ice folks. As you can see,
it's not much more than a big piece of black
volcanic rock sitting in the middle of an ice
shelf. Picture a cinder track...the kind they
used to use for high school track and field events
and you'll get a good idea of how the island is
constructed. Just a whole lot of those cinders
in a pile. Nonetheless, it's "My" island and I'm
proud of it.

It was about 2:30 am when we turned around and the
light was great for taking pictures. As you can
see from the third photo, that's about as low as
the sun gets these days. It makes a complete circle
around us throughout the day, never sinking below
the horizon.
Since I work with Charlie, Michelle and Megan who were
leading this little expedition, they let me sit in the
front seat of the Delta on the way back. I'd never
been in the front before and I had a great time.
Not too easy getting into that monster, but since
gravity works wonders, it's much easier getting out.
So overall, even though it was a failed trip, it was
fun to get out of town and have new experiences. Not
everything needs to be a success to be worthwhile.
Just like Shackleton.

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