Sunday, November 26, 2006

Grabbing the Golden Ring

To all those kiddos out there stuck in class here's a bit of fun!
So I was planning on making this trip to Antarctica next fall but when adventure knocks you gotta mobilize...So I am leaving January 9th , flying from Alaska to L.A. then on to Santiago, Chile then to Mt. Pleasant, Falkland Islands where I will meet my friends Yva and John and the rest of the six of us to board the Golden Fleece and cross Drake Passage to the bottom of the world. Google "Golden Fleece Antarctica" to read about Jerome Poncet-the old pirate we are sailing with. He will be as much fun as the trip!

Antarctica has been a dream of mine ever since I met my friend Norman Vaughan 35 years ago. Though he was 50 years older than I we were compadres-evil twins and fun hogs! He was on the first Byrd Expedition to the South Pole in 1928 when he was a lad. Google "Norman D. Vaughan Antarctica" for hits. Norman died last year at the grand old age of 100. I grew up on his stories of adventure and hardship-eating whales, working on the black gang shoveling coal into the ship's boilers, driving dogs 1800 miles across "lands man had never seen before." I always wanted to go with him but he will be in my heart the whole way. So will my friend Susan Butcher. Four time Iditarod champion she would have loved this trip. She died a few months ago. So for me anyway this trip is both adventure and tribute. I have have been so lucky in my friends. I am looking forward to making more. To seeing the blue ice so different from what I am used to at the top of the world. To the penguins and leopard seals and of course the whales. Joe Redington used to say Susan was "real doggy." Well, I guess I'm real whaley. I'm gonna pick Jerome's brain on the changes he has seen at his latitudes and try and figure out what story is there for me. Stay posted. In the words of one of the few Republicans re-elected:
I'll be back!