I am Here

November 22nd, 2001

It was so slippery I almost fell. Getting out of a Military Transport isn't like disembarking a commercial flight. The entryway is only about 5' high so I had to crouch to walk down the three steps. I was concentrating on keeping my balance. We landed on glare ice. You could play hockey on it.

I almost knocked down the woman bus driver who came to drive us to base. She laughed when I stumbled.

I was stumbling because of Mount Erebus. The Royal Society Range. Mt. Terror. The plane landed in the middle of the McMurdo Sound. In a month an ice breaker will reduce the runway to icebergs and open lanes. But for as far as I could see was white, and the mountains I've read about my whole life rising in the distance.

Sure, there's a lot you can say about things like the plane ride. I have a bunch of pictures to show you of what it's like being cargo in a military transport. There are so many things I can say about being compressed between people closer than you'd even sit with your spouse.

What I can't do is make you feel the way it does when something you've thought about for as long as you can think is right there in front of you. It's something strange. An emotion you don't develop watching movies or reading books. It's stupid to say it takes your breath away.

It takes your whole life away. You stop breathing for a minute. And when you start, it's not like it was before. Not one thing. I am inside a dream that I invented when I was 7 years old.

I wish for everyone I love that they can do something that makes them feel this way. Nobody can do it for you though. You have to do it yourself.

I think this is why God gives you a life.

I'll write more and paste in more pics when I can think straight.

This is the Royal Society Mountain Range. Same as the E. Wilson painting elsewhere on this website. It's what I see when I look out my dorm window. I have to sleep next to the window because my roommate took the bed in the dark section of the room. As it's always light, it's kind of like sleeping in mid afternoon, all the time.

This is the NSF headquarters at McMurdo. It's the only building that looks like a habitation rather than a warehouse. Though, nobody actually lives in here. It's filled with offices.