The Long and Winding Road to McMurdo

It always takes a couple days to get to Mcmurdo Station, but sometimes it takes a couple weeks! I left my home on October 17th, heading west. The flights can be pretty brutal, not to mention all the layovers, and this year was extra special with 13 hours in Brisbane! Thankfully I met a new Antarctica friend on the flight, and we really made the most of it (but then we didn’t get into Christchurch until 1am). In total it was about 21 hours of flight time and exactly 48 hours from the moment I left my house in Portland to the moment I walked into my hotel room in Christchurch. And that’s just getting to christchurch!

My carry-on luggage for the trip to Christchurch: backpack, sandals, and roller skates

After finally arriving in Christchurch, we had a couple days of zoom meetings and few trips to the CDC (Clothing Distribution Center) for more orientation stuff: information videos, covid tests, and a chance to try on all my issued cold weather gear to see if everything fit. When the delays started happening I skated almost every day, walked around town running errands and getting last minute supplies, and I also went to the botanic garden with some new friends.

After many flight delays and four different hotels over the course of 10 days, we finally headed south on October 25th and the C-17 landed safely at Phoenix Airfield, about 10 miles from McMurdo Station out on the ice shelf.

It was absolutely wild walking off that plane again, feeling the cold wind on my face and filling my lungs, the mountains (The Royal Society Range), the volcano (Mt Erebus), and feeling all the energy from all the people who just realized that this shit is real.

7 December 2022 at 8:21pm