Monday, February 15, 2010

Postcard from Antarctica

Our friends Geoff and Cricket (a.k.a. 13 Falls) sent us a postcard a couple weeks ago... from ANTARCTICA. Here's a picture of the postmark from McMurdo Station, the American base on the continent's coast due south of New Zealand. Amazingly, it only costs 28 cents to send a piece of paper from Antarctica to my apartment - nice work, postal service.

They ought to be home by now, but it sounds like they had an amazing austral summer. They shared some great stories and photos on two blogs they started writing for the job - Geoff's Hoary Frost of Heaven and Cricket's At Least It's A Dry Cold. It's pretty easy to read both straight through in one sitting - there's so much that's incredible about their life and work on the ice, and the pictures they took. They also spent a few weeks at Byrd Station, near the middle of the continent, which Cricket describes this way: "It feels like you’re in an infinitely large white room. On sunny days, the whole ground sparkles. And I swear that the first night I slept in a tent there, I could feel the depth of the 7,000 feet of ice between me and solid ground."

Here's a photo Geoff took of their tent neighborhood at Byrd.

My other favorite highlight from their blog chronicles are the photos Cricket took of a glacial fjord, which she and some co-workers climbed after disassembling the storage floor for a giant robot (a lot of what they write about sounds like it could be the first-person domestic account of the civilian extras who keep the ice base on Hoth running before the big attack in The Empire Strikes Back). Anyway, here's one of her pictures:

Those aren't clouds among the mountaintops, they're glaciers. And what really boggles my mind is to think that New England's mountains once looked like this, as recently as 13,000 years ago.

Welcome back to North America, Geoff and Cricket. Enjoy photosynthesis.

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