What's in my pocket for our next snack break? What de-hy food will I have for dinner? What will be the first meal I have when I get home? What about the second meal? What snacks will they be serving on the airplane? But more importantly tonight was a very special meal, REAL (not dehydrated!) chicken strips and french fries made by Chef Taylor and delivered to each tent. Delicious!
Now, back to the day... It was a beautiful day. Sunny and windy at first, with the wind out of the north, then shifting to the east. There was one mid day push when it got uncomfortable hot for the first time on the expedition! Then back to the wind and cold. Heather and John took turns out front breaking trail and navigating by chest-mounted compass.
They are now 43 kilometers from their final waypoint. There was a stretch today where they could tell they were going downhill, but otherwise the descent thus far has been fairly not noticeable. The fresh snow has something to do with that. Hopefully tomorrow they will have some visibility because they should start to see features of the east coast - mostly mountain tops!
May 28th - as Aretha said R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Today brought the sunrise in around 430 am. Helped dry us out, magical as there was so much dampness, our sleeping bags end up like popsicles after sitting on the sled in freezing temps for the whole day. Usual brekkkie and out we went. 6 pushes (each push typically 1.5 hr long ski with 10 min break to eat and drink). Overall 35 k skied, now 21 days on the ice..... but most importantly we can now move to the countdown - we are 42 km to target!!!!
Altitude 5150 feet. I had a chance to lead today (bloody awesome) wearing the chest harness and compass. All I had to do was keep the needle ‘in the house’ so we could move directly east, in a straight line. There was some visibility so Tay said look into the distance and find a mark and move to it, making minor adjustments as needed to keep the needle on target. Well, I never, (as granny would say), so piece of cake right? Except....the land is covered with sastrugi (snow formations created by the wind), there’s deep powder, apparently I have a tendency to go left (likely because of my political views), all in all there’s no doubt I added an extra km to the day. Holy moly RESPECT for these guides who make it look so easy! And to top it all off Taylor made chicken nuggets and fries! First non-freeze dried food in 21 days!! Nirvana.
Below: Our wonderful team includes 8 people and 31 amazing dogs.
Below: Is that BLUE SKY?? They had almost forgotten what it looked like!