And so after 80 hours on the road, in the air, sitting at airports and through safety and orientation briefings, I find myself back on the ice. The strangest part of it all, and it kind of blows my mind, is that it’s all so familiar. I see friends I haven’t seen in seven months but it feels like it was just yesterday that I was here. Of course it was not and I remind myself of the wonderful experiences I had this summer in the northern hemisphere with friends and family, but it has struck me how normal it seems to be back here.
I cannot say it is ever easy to come back here. Each season is different down here. Each is an unknown entity. Many times over the past three and a half days, I’ve wondered, “Am I doing the right thing? Am I really going back? Why am I going back?” They are interesting questions that don’t have quick answers so it comes down to we’ll just have to wait and see. I will miss all things of the North.
Overall the trip down here was relatively smooth. It is amazing that in under four complete days I can go from my home in Massachusetts to McMurdo. About 27 hours in the air over those three and a half days. We crossed the equator and then the international date line and so I now reside in the future!
We’ve now had our re-orientation to the town and begin work tomorrow morning at 0730! My co-worker Nick and I will pick up where we left off! Once the helicopters and pilots do their check rides we’ll head out into the valleys to open up the camps there. Tomorrow, I imagine we’ll charge some batteries, open up the solar shop and get settled. Strange how regular it all seems. Hopefully this regular turns out to be a really good thing this season. I'm not sure whether it should feel calming or frightening but it's how it is so I guess I'll just have to roll with it for now.