The people you meet at the bottom of the world

My favorite thing about the South Pole Station is the interesting characters you meet. This one skinny kid I sat next to in the galley is getting his PHD in astrophysics from Harvard. He spends his days interpreting the cosmic microwave background of the universe. What?! Yea, he uses data from the SPUD Telescope to look at the EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE! It’s crazy, it’s amazing, and it’s so far out there I have no idea what he’s talking about.

 

And folks are so talented it makes me sick. Not only do they have a specialized trade but they always have some other remarkable skill or hobby. One of the cooks playing guitar at open mic night was “John Denver” good. I’m serious. I wanted to grab that guy and yell “What are you doing here! Quit your day job and go on tour for gosh sakes!”

 

The Pole also attracts various adventurers and thrill seekers. Prince Harry (yes, thee Prince Harry) is skiing into Pole from a couple hundred miles out. I believe his group is raising money for wounded soldiers. With him is that really hot guy from the True Blood TV vampire series, or so I’m told. As you can imagine the women in town are going crazy. After all, this is their last chance to become a princess.

 

So we are on the trail again headed north, back to McMurdo. Last night we ran in to SPoT2, stopped and had a fine meal together. We hadn’t seen our friends in over a month and decided to have an impromptu party in the middle of the Polar Plateau. We arm wrestled a lot for some reason.

 

For the championship
For the championship

 

Besides us, there are four parties using our trail this year. Two of them are driving across the continent in Toyota trucks, one of them on skis, and one lady on a bicycle. We passed one of the trucks today- they are on a different time schedule than us and were asleep. With all this white snow everywhere different colors really stand out and it appears they are pooping and peeing all over the place! From their tracks it also appears that they are very interested in our fuel caches. Someday we might have to lock the fuel up somehow- perhaps behind a fence with barbwire.

 

Toyota
Toyota

 

 

Willey
Willey

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