Category Archives: antarctica

antarctica; leaving and landing

We touched down in the Christchurch, New Zealand airport Thursday night, November 13, at 7:24 PM. Christchurch has a sense to it, a feeling based on the weather, the nearby ocean, and flowering spring. That sense of life, of the city-soul, made it’s way into the plane before we were even able to leave. It […]

fortunately few

Radios are beeping ceaselessly, the galley had a line for food for the first time in months, questions for the IT department are coming in rapid-fire, and new faces keep popping up where no one previously tread. The first load of new folk came in yesterday and the mayhem on station has multiplied many-fold. We’re […]


The first plane to land came through just a few minutes past – the Basler (a modified DC-3) stopped to fuel on its way to McMurdo station. We stood on the deck, laughing in the sun (-60 F), counting the new pairs of legs on the ground in the fuel pit. In two hours one […]

we’re losing our minds

Regarding the long winter’s effects on our short-term memory, a quote from a friend: “I left work to go to the bathroom and walked right by it. About a hundred feet down the hall I remembered…I forgot that I had to pee.”

testing the limits of human interaction

You encounter, over winter, a tremendous range of the human condition. Few places outside of warfare bring about the close-quarter mess and encounter that emotion and reason go through in a South Pole winter. I came expecting to encounter tests and challenges in droves, in large dramatic moments. Instead, I’ve found subtlety and self. Time […]

not long now

The first flight that we’ll have seen since February fifteenth is scheduled to arrive next Tuesday (this is, of course, as weather dependent as everything here). The planes will be the Twin Otters and Basler coming through from South America on their way to McMurdo Station. They won’t be here long (the first flight with […]

writing and such; two

The first of two articles was published in the Mankato Free Press today – here is the link: Blue Earth man finds job, home at South Pole It’s a trip getting published – a combination of thrill and wariness. They are my words that you read but my words as altered by a final round […]

empirical studies

I harvest images, the tangents of idea and emotion, draw them into a cohesive narrative and build my life. We all do. We translate the empirical into a story, take disconnected colors, sounds, smells, tastes, touch and interpret on the fly. This is not new, this is not a philosophy unexplored. It is worth reminding, […]

somewhere out there

So out in the real world, the Large Hadron Collider is spinning up, leading to potential black holes and the end of everything in a few weeks. Politics are a little darker and dirtier than usual, with outright lying apparently now okay so long as “the theme of the message is getting across” (I am […]

hesitating expectations

For the last year, we’ve been on pause. Our cares and concerns in the outside world have been muted, been rendered distant physically and emotionally. The day to day consists of staid routine and simple plans, of familiar people and few responsibilities. Expectation followed us here, built up over the beginning, and played out calmly […]