As I pack my bags, prepare my thoughts, and my long underwear, for my fourth journey to Antarctica, I spent a moment gathering photos from past seasons' travels.
I depart from the Southwest, leaving the land of enchantment, flying through Sydney. Australia and, Christchurch, New Zealand to arrive at McMurdo Station, Antarctica -- the harshest continent on Earth. On average it takes four days to a week to get from the states to Mcmurdo.
After spending a day in Christchurch, receiving issued gear, a flu shot, and other information, your flight to the ice is scheduled for the next day. Once the weather permits, you climb about the US Air Force C-17 aircraft for the final leg of your flight to McMurdo Station, landing at Pegasus airfield, one of the most dangerous airfields in the world. They don't serve peanuts on this flight, but they do hand out ear plugs.
The view from the flight deck.
On board the five hour flight people sleep, wander, daydream, and hope the flight does not boomerang back to New Zealand for weather problems in Antarctica.
There are several windows on the airplane; they are about the size of your head with a view as big as you can image.
The final approach into Pegasus Airfield takes you past Mt. Erebus, the world's Southern-most volcano.
When you arrive at the airfield, you are in awe of the magic that is McMurdo -- or maybe overwhelmed by the joy of seeing old friends.
One of these three vehicles will transport you from the airfield to Mcmurdo Station. Depending on road conditions, this drive averages an hour or two.
I depart Saturday, October 3, 2015, for my 4th journey to Antarctica, please follow me as I document the journey.