Saturday, February 17, 2007

Going, Going, GONE!

To say that I'm distracted is an understated. We leave tomorrow morning for Antarctica, by way of Miami, Buenos Aires, and Usuaia. I've been packing and unpacking for a week. I've put things in, taken things out, counted socks and underwear and batteries and flashlights and whistles. Yes, whistles. Fox40 whistles to be precise.

We are part of the landing crew. The marathon is run on King George Island. 6 of us get off the ship two days before the race, spend the night on the island, and then spend all day measuring, marking, and setting up the course. It's exciting, exhausting, and more fun than I can describe.

I've talked and written about Antarctica before. What draws me to it is the sense of being completely and totally at the mercy of the continent. You know what you want to do. You know when you want to do it. And you don't have any idea if you'll be able to.

One year there had been a freak snowstorm the day before we arrived. There were 8-10 foot drifts on parts of the course. We had carve out places to run. Last trip, in 2005, they were experiencing one of the wettest Summer seasons [for them] that they had ever had. The course was muddy, with giant potholes and puddles that we nearly impossible to cross.

And, of course, there was the year of the cyclone. 36 hours stuck in the middle of the Drake Passage.

Did I say that is was exciting??

So, I'll try to get to an internet site while I'm gone, but no promises. Wish us well.

John

ORN: Thursday, February 15. 1.25 miles. I got interupted and had to stop.
Friday, February 16, 4.25 miles, 50 minutes, R5/W1

4 comments:

Ki said...

Best of luck, you mad mad person.

Tim said...

Sounds cool - (pun intended)

Sam said...

You and your wife quit your goofing off and come home now.
We need your help to get in shape to run something:)
Sam

Jilly said...

(I think he really meant the 'gone' part of the title..)