January 17, 2001
Hi, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. It is January 21. It is our 69th day, hard to believe and a Sunday. We take note of the weekend by having a little Kentucky cake from Liv’s mom.
We woke to minus-27 Celsius and a very calm morning with a little bit of sun and a white haze everywhere. We still felt a little hopeful that we could catch a slight breeze with the NASAs up above us and be able to walk/sail as the snow around here is quite deep. As Liv has reported and it also has a sticky quality to it, so we are not eager to pull in these conditions, even though there is rarely a sastrugi in sight and you’ve heard us talk so much about sastrugi.
Unfortunately, I hate to report this, we fight over the good days to get to you, and I landed on a slow day. We are climbing still, but as you can see from those numbers we didn’t cover very many miles. So, the climb is pretty minimal. We are at 9,669 feet and we covered close to 4 miles, 3.61, and that was in three hours of very hard pulling. Part of the hardness is the altitude. Probably a little bit of fatigue and we are on the second leg. We are quite a bit thinner than when we started. With the heavy sleds again it feels a bit more arduous than perhaps it did over on the glacier when we began.
It is absolutely, totally calm right now. We are in a white haze, the sun is sort of out. Today we saw something I had never seen before; a white rainbow is what I’m calling it. It was touching the horizon as a rainbow does, but it was a cloudy color. We also saw a beautiful sun dog with the four points beaming off on the four corners in all directions. It was just really, really gorgeous. There are lots of ice crystals in the air. It’s a semi whiteout. It’s kind of a wild atmosphere here. We are hoping something will change, but we are actually gearing up for a long day pulling tomorrow and sucking this cold, dry, high air.
I just want to thank the yourexpedition.com folks back home for the incredible re-supply that is weighing down on our sleds right now. It’s all beautifully packed, there’re fun little sayings on our chocolate lunch bags. A lot of thought and preparation went into it and we’re having lots of fun with it, as we’re eating with great relish. I was even so optimistic that I thought we might even gain a little weight on this leg, but I doubt it.
When we have these slow days we actually eat quite a bit and rest, in anticipation of what we know is going to happen, which are the long stretches ahead of us.
I don’t know if you remember, but we tried to warn you that this is going to be a very hard stretch. Anyone who has left the Pole, dragging a sled of any configuration, has struggled with the cold, the altitude, the deep snow and the funny kind of weather up here, as we approach the Titus Dome.
This is not unexpected. We were extremely lucky the first two days to sail away from the Pole. Many have pulled and seen the Pole for hours and hours. We’re trying to switch gears in our heads and I hope you switch with us. This is going to be a tough stretch. We have about 230 miles to the top of the Shackleton Glacier, which is our next goal point. We’re extremely excited about it. As we push on the plateau and beyond, our noses are pointed to the Shack Glacier as we call it.
So here we go on the second leg!
Thanks a lot.
January 17, 2001
Hi all, this is Ann and Liv from the ice, actually, as many of you already know, from the South Pole. Literally, our tent is pitched right off of the Pole site. We wanted to report in because we’ve been a bit tardy doing that. Life has been quite full in the last few days.
It’s 2:52 on Thursday morning, South Pole time, which is really New Zealand time. I’m wearing that time on my wrist and Liv is still on Cape Town time, to try to function in this wild world. We’ll pick our own schedule once we leave the South Pole on Friday morning to get under way.
As you might imagine, we’re thrilled. We had our all-time-high mileage day a few days ago that gave us that renewed hope.
We had covered 77 miles and then rested for four hours, did some quick repairs on the sails and off again we went. We started out at a slow shuffle with the sail and then the wind finally picked up in the last two hours as we were seeing the presence of the South Pole. Meaning, we saw a C130 aircraft taking off about 25 miles out for us. We knew we were within shouting distance.
And then a tail wind came up and pushed us in so fast that we almost went right by the Pole. We’re not teasing there. From a distance and in all of this white, even though there are a lot of buildings here because this is a research station, it looked quite small and some of them look like shacks. We thought it might be some sort of outer research project going on not too far from the Pole.
Fortunately, we recognized the dome we had seen in the early ’90s. We turned our sails right in at 4 in the afternoon our time, which was about 4 or 5 in the morning for the South Pole station. One weatherman happened to be out as we sailed right up to the Pole. He wished us congratulations and that was our greeting.
We’re delighted to be here. It’s been busy. We’ve been doing media interviews. We’re about to pack our sleds with our re-supply, bring them back up to weight. We’ve weighed in. We’re very skinny, but we’re very happy. Tonight we just had pasta bolognaise in our tent, so we’re back on track. Eating our chips, our soup and our dinners at full ration. And we’re looking forward to the second half of the journey.
Thanks for all your support in the first half, and we’ll get on track on Friday and checking in with regular updates.
Thanks again and stay tuned.
January 16, 2001
Hi all, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. It should be Liv speaking, but she is doing meters and meters and meters of sewing.
It is 12:30 our time, Greenwich Mean Time. Though it’s bright and early in the morning, it’s technically day 63. But we haven’t quite finished our day, January 15. It’s really the 16th, but we’re still operating on the 15th.
We’re feeling pretty good. Our altitude is 9,760 feet, so we’re climbing up to that Pole. We have covered 77 miles in, I believe, 14 hours. And we have 32 miles to go, to complete this section of our journey.
It’s been a lot harder than we imagined. I wish Liv could talk to you, but she had a little parking mishap with her NASA sail and is repairing the wreckage.
January 14, 2001
Hi all, this is Ann and Liv reporting in, Sunday evening, from the ice. It’s day 62, the 14th of January.
I actually got to the pole in 1993 on January 14th. Feeling crisp for us, perhaps because of our diet. I don’t know, it just feels crisp. There was a slight breeze, so we got out the NASA and we were sailing at about 5 miles an hour at 8:00 and it started to wind down at 11:00. From about 11:00 till 2:00 we did a sail-walk and covered 22.2 miles. We zoomed ahead in our hopes a little bit too fast and we we’re thinking of more miles and more kilometers right before the wind died. So, it was a little bit frustrating. You’ve heard us say that many, many times. The wind is now up a little bit, but it’s changed directions. It’s coming from the west/northwest. It’s gusting up into the mid 4’s and the lighting has changed dramatically. We’ve got a little light to the west of the horizon and everything else is flat and a bit of a whiteout.
So, we decided, after waiting around hoping that things might turn in our favor, to make camp at about 9:30 our time. We had a little dinner, left over lunch, chocolate as you know and shared our granola bar and some hot water and sport drink. Yum, yum, yum. We are going to get up early and maybe things will turn our way. If not we’ll get our psychological hats on to do a long pulling day, to keep inching our way towards the pole.
Our altitude is 8,813 feet, so we’ve gone up a little bit. We went through some extraordinary places today. In fact we thought we went through a little crevasse area, but we were sailing at a decent clip and moved right through it, so it wasn’t very scary at all.
I wanted to say, "thank you" to Apple Computers for being a partner with us. We’ve got a Powerbook with us that is hooked to the solar panel right now and is actually charging even in this flat, dull light. But, thanks for believing in the power of a story and what you can do with it. The Powerbook is how we keep our daily updates and share what is going down with kids all over the world, so we really appreciate it. Actually, the Powerbook is surprising us at every turn, because 2 days ago with the NASA I became “Mary Poppins” and flew up about 5 feet on a gust after my sled overturned and the Powerbook was dragged. I keep it in my sleeping bag on top of the sled in the hopes that will buffer it. But, every once in a while it gets a pretty rough ride and it’s still going strong. We are not at all nice to it and yet it seems to keep working, so pretty amazing stuff.
We had to do a little repairing today. My sail is ripping down the seams just as Liv’s had done and so we sailed for a while and then when the wind died down we just decided to sow right there outside with the sail unfurled neatly by Mother nature.
So, here we sit. Hopefully we will turn things around tomorrow. We had our psychological test today with the University of Minnesota so you can see why I’m pretending to be quite perky.
We’ll see you tomorrow and thanks again. Adios.
January 12, 2001
Hi, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. Hard to believe but it’s day 60. In some ways it’s going incredibly fast and then in other ways…as we continue our push it feels like it grinds a bit. It’s January 12th, beautiful evening.
We woke at 4:30 and we have been saying we want to give up our comfortable evening excursions out of the tent for our bathroom break at about midnight or 2 a.m. for wind and a bit uncomfortable conditions and for the most part we gotten them the last 3 days. Today however things calmed down in the morning and still a breeze though.
We continue our zig-zag to the pole. We’re at 8,706 feet and for those who have already figured it out we’ve made about 30.8 miles today. The first 4 miles were “sail-walking” as we call it. The ranges of winds that we clocked today were 1.5-5.5 meters per second, however the gusts were definitely higher. We had sun and clouds and mixed rain and we monkeyed around for a couple of hours with changing sails and a little bit of a tangle here and there. We were out 12 hours but we sailed we’re guessing about 10. Trying to keep pace with the ever-changing wind, both in angle and speed. Again, very beautiful area, it changes as well, but it’s been fairly mild which was a great advantage for us this morning in terms of sastrugi cause we could keep moving. So, our push continues we are not out of the game yet but the tension is definitely there and we are very eager to make the 130 so miles left to the pole and hope that we will have our chance in the next few days.
A few greetings here, we’ve just been deluged with your thoughts and prayers and hopes and we really appreciate it. We visited the Greenfield School in Cape Town, South Africa and they have been sending many, many messages and we really appreciate it and hope to get back to visit you. The climber who climbed Mt. Washington you are absolutely right this is such a remarkable place and it is unworldly, it’s like nothing else. Jerry Gold don’t worry, you can get out in lots of different ways by following others like this trip and sharing them with your two daughters. Ahmad from Egypt wow! We could use a little of that dry wind blowing our way.
Thanks all for checking-in. We really appreciate it and it’s been a wild day. We’re going knock off for about 4 hours and hopefully the wind will allow us to pick up bright and early sometime this morning.
Thanks again, talk to you tomorrow.
January 10, 2001
Thank you, thank you, thank you! All you dancers, singers, prayers, thinkers, all you wind producers!
This is Ann and Liv from the ice, day 58 and you guessed it. We got our blow. It started building last night, softly. We saw the tent moving and tried to ignore it with hope that it would continue and it did.
Got up early this morning and thought we were going to use the NASA sail, the big sail, the 32 meter sail. But it would have pulled us so far West; we wouldn’t have been on Antarctica anymore. So we used the 15-meter sail with the flaps and took off at around 8:30 am. We sailed for 10 hours and it produced 66.4 miles according to my GPS.
It was a chilly day, hard to keep the fingers warm but well worth it. We woke to 25 below and it hung there all day long with that wind.
Our altitude was up and down all day long. Incredible typography, but we are resting at 8,663 feet.
The sun is out. The meter readings we took of the wind were between 2.6 to 5.3, but we know that the gusts were a lot higher, given our speeds with this East, North East wind.
We’re feeling pretty good. We shared a meal tonight of beef stew. We’re still being cautious about our rations, just in case the wind decides to leave us. But we are in an area that is so extraordinary. We approached it about the last hour and a half or two hours to our sail tonight. I don’t know. I’ve never been on the moon. It’s this huge, flat expanse with the occasional sastrugi. It’s almost eerie looking.
And then earlier today, as we were bombing through big sastrugi, really hard sailing, we got into these areas were it felt like we were going to sail off the end of the world. Every hour produces something new in terms of our landscape. We’re up and down and it’s really thrilling as we move along, particularly at these speeds.
We’ve got about 220 miles to go, so the pole is feeling closer every minute. We’re celebrating that we exceeded 1000 miles thus far.
We’re feeling pretty good and we really appreciate all the effort that we know has been coming in from all over the world on behalf of our need of wind. Don’t stop. We’re going to get up at the crack of dawn if the wind is still blowing. It seems like it might. This looks like a place we’re the wind doesn’t stop blowing. And we’ll put in another long day, as long as we can.
Thanks again, bye.
January 8, 2001
Hi all, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. It’s, believe it or not, day 56, the eight of January. We woke up to minus 17 degrees this morning and it warmed up to about 15 or so for the day. And the sun was out, without a hint of breeze in the air.
We made almost 10 miles today. Had I known, we would have inched up to the next sastrugi line. We made 9.90 miles in about 7 hours of pulling. It was really hard sastrugi today. Felt pretty heavy for us, up and down and I even had my hat off. With no breeze and pulling that sled in pretty high sastrugi and soft snow, you work up a pretty good heat.
We tried to enjoy the day. It’s absolutely beautiful. Lights in the snow crystals everywhere; endless views of sastrugi fields, frozen oceans of sastrugi, and we just tried to enjoy where we are. Although, you know what we want to be doing.
We’ve still got lots of hope left. We’ve got days to go. We are thinning our out guide a little bit in preparation of perhaps more dry days of wind. But nothing alarming, it’s actually normal practice towards the end of a trip.
We’ve got our sites still pointed south. We might be in a funny packet, so we hope we can pull out of it. We always know that it could be worse. We could be in a white out and we could have a head wind. So there’s a positive, silver lining in everything we look at.
I want to say hi to Lynne Arnold and way to go on your climb. Thanks for the note. We’ll think of you tomorrow if we’re pulling or sailing. And Ms. Corson’s class in Illinois, the third graders, who signed, each and every one of them, their names on the fax. Keep thinking about us and keep doing that dance, cause something will happen. We’re a long way a way, so it takes awhile for those wind reverberations to reach us. And Lofu in Italy, I know I brutalized your name. But, we are pulling and ciao you. Keep pulling for us. Andrew, don’t get discouraged that your pins are so close. Keep putting them in and encouraging Morgan that good things happen in slow paces. Ingelies in Denmark, I hope you’re still following us. You’ve been doing so for almost two years and I hope your enthusiasm hasn’t waned.
This is an amazing piece of technology that allows us to get your messages, which spur us on. And I’m about to go plug in the phone now, before I get cut off of on the machine.
Thanks again and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
January 6, 2001
Hello, this is Ann and Liv from the ice on January 6th. We woke to minus 20 degrees and after leaving the tent a couple of times, we realized that it was warming up. We seem to have, with the return of the sun, crisper feelings to our morning. We made 9.69 miles today, pulling. We put in about 7 hours today.
We went up ever so slightly, although when you’re pulling a sled in snow and sastrugi, you feel it a little bit more acutely. But our altitude is 8666 feet. We have approximately 317 miles left.
We woke to sunny weather. We’re liking the return of the sun and getting out of the white outs. But we still had a Southern breeze in our face and it made the day kind of chilly for us, particularly our hands, as we skied into it.
So that’s where we are today. We’re trying not to focus on the wind. We’re trying to keep our pulling feet going and just inch our way to the pole. We know when we do get our chance to perhaps pop a sail up, if the wind switches, we’ll be able to be that much closer.
The wind charts we studied before we left Antarctica, indicated that the winds come from the pole and move around towards the west, creating very usable conditions. But again, we’re finding that we’re not the only spot on Antarctica that is windless, often times sunless, and full of big sastrugi.
Actually, today the sastrugi was pretty mild. Soft snow in between the sastrugi but still moving at a pretty decent pace for a 7 hour pull. But still, you know, miles to go before… we sleep.
We wish we had our cross-country motors about this time. We’d pop it in all-wheel drive and we’d be over these sastrugi in no time.
Liv is really inspired by all the kids around the world who have taken the material and the sheets and are flapping it in the wind, trying to push that Southern breeze and allow us to sail.
As we’re pulling our sleds, we’re thinking of everybody wishing us well and encouraging us on. We’re getting all of those messages, prayers, and thoughts from all of you. It certainly warms our heart. We’re really just thrilled to have this team effort, pushing us towards the pole. Don’t stop now. Hang with us. It’s a slow ride but it’s bound to speed up at any time so be ready.
We really appreciate it and have a good weekend.
January 4, 2001
Hi! This is your friendly, discussing friends Ann and Liv from the ice.
It’s January 4th and we woke up to 18 below, so again, those mild temperatures continue on. However, they also continue to feel chilly because the sun is not out, warming the tent like it usually is. We tend to bundle up and we can see our breath. We’re at a very disappointing 85 degrees, which is, as many of you know, 2.68 miles. We did move. That’s an encouraging thing.
We awoke again to a white out, very calm. The range of wind speeds today is .5 through 2.1 meters per second. Not enough to even bring up the big, 32-meter sail. We tried to pull for a little while but the visibility was just really marginal. It’s very difficult to go out of the tent on these white out days, even to go and find your sled or to the bathroom.
We needed to move just for our emotional well-being and to let you know that we’re still trying to plug. But obviously that’s not the kind of miles that’s going to get us to the pole in the next 12 days or so. It’s very discouraging but we’re trying to keep our chin up.
Since we’ve been in the tent for the last hour or two, the horizon is beginning to appear. We’ll take that as a sign of hope. Perhaps something new is coming in the middle of the night or tomorrow morning and we can utilize it.
The sastrugis have been very tough and pulling has been hard through them. But when we are sailing, we’re lifted over them, especially with the NASA sail. That helps us; even at the lower speeds we’ve had, on day 50 and some of the days before.
The NASA sail is able to lift us up. The lines are much higher in the sky than our other sails. It alleviates some of the poking of our tips in the sastrugi that we get when we pull and obviously that’s harder work.
From the information from around the country that we’ve been able to get, it seems to be the year of big sastrugi, lots of white out and very very little wind. This is our 4th day of white out and we’re hoping it’s our last. If you count back, we’ve had an awful lot of white out days and white out days without wind. It’s an unusual time.
Greetings to the Girls Scouts all around the country and the Girl Guides in other parts of the world. Keep the faith and stay with us. We’re going to pick up somewhere along the line and things will speed up.
We really appreciate all the messages that come in each and every day. Keep them coming.
Thanks so much, talk to you tomorrow.
January 2, 2001
Hi all, this is Ann and Liv from the ice on the 2nd of January. It’s hard to believe it’s 2001.
We woke up this morning to 18 below and a pretty thick white out. That’s probably contributing to the warmer temperatures, but it feels colder to us than the 20 below we were having last week. It’s probably because of the humidity. There’s frost on the tent straps, which is really quite beautiful, but doesn’t bode well for wind or visibility.
We didn’t have a lot of movement since yesterday. We made 10.6 miles today and we’re at 8573 feet. We moved up a bit and we look at that as a positive sign that we’re moving up to the pole. We spent four long hours with the NASA sail, both walking and getting a little push from that huge sail.
We had very low winds. 1.8 to little bursts of 3.5 meters per second. Not great speed but you can see from the mileage that it actually does make a difference. 10 miles is about six hours pulling or more.
Pretty good sastrugi again, so it was up and down. That is always pretty interesting in a white out and at low speeds. So we’re always happy to have our Motorola radio handy. We don’t use them very often but they’re in our pockets, ready to go. Particularly in white out conditions like we’ve had for the last two days. Our first hope is to stay very close together without interfering with each other’s wind but not so far apart that we have to get out the radio to talk to one another. But we still keep them close at hand in both good weather and bad.
Liv has led for the last four days to give me a breather with the shoulder. Particularly in white out conditions, we do a lot of falling. We can’t see sastrugi coming up and catching our ski tips. I tend to fall on the wrong side all the time. We’re trying to push the shoulder on to the pole and beyond. Liv taking the lead allows me to have an easier time following in her sled tracks.
We basically feel like puppets on a string when we’re skiing or sailing like this. We don’t want to give you the impression that sailing is very easy because it sounds kind of easy. But we’ve got the sled pulling in one direction behind us, and the sastrugi knocking our skis and our legs in every direction at various speeds, and then the sail pulling us towards the pole. It’s really a wild ride. It doesn’t always look very pretty, but it does the job.
December 31, 2000
Hi gang, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. It's New Years Eve, December 31st.
It's Sunday and Sunday is typically the day we take our psychological tests from the University of Minnesota. Liv is doing it right now, but unfortunately she does it in Norwegian. I can't read over her shoulder about how stressful I'm making it for her.
We are feeling pretty good. We're at 84 degrees and we're pretty happy about that. We finally moved out of 83 degrees.
We went up a little bit today. We're currently at 8400 ft. We made 39.6 miles. We used the big three sided sail today. We sailed with the 32-meter sail for 8 hours this morning after sewing till quite late last night. There were some holes in the seams.
It was a great day though. We moved along in wind that was anywhere from 2.6 to 4.0 meters per second. It’s sunny with clouds around us. And most importantly was the mild sastrugi, which made for easier sailing. Because the wind was so light, going over the sastrugi was really bouncy.
We're feeling pretty good about the fact that we can now utilize these sails. This sail has longer lines on it, so it's capturing wind that's higher as well as lighter winds. It gives us greater hope in reaching the pole a little more on schedule.
We woke to about 17 below zero Celsius this morning. Had a fairly warm day, although we sailed in our down parkas. The sun is going in and out of clouds now and we're back in our down pants.
Liv has a huge smile on her face. She's just gotten out her mothers cake, which we will celebrate New Years with. And we will toast our sailing crew this evening. We have a great crew in Norway that has helped us in the last year.
Thanks for everything and we'll talk to you soon.
December 17, 2000
Hi gang, this is Ann and Liv on day 34, it’s December 17th.
We’re feeling pretty good today because we’ve made 64.8 miles, which is currently our all time high. We hope to shatter that in the very near future. We had an 8-hour sail today with the 15-meter sail with the flap. Much of it was in heavy sastrugi, but we had a fairly nice, good wind going with the sun out so we were able to navigate with our shadow, which made it very pleasant.
We started out the first hour in this really extraordinary, flat place. And then all of the sudden it got to be what I call a rodeo, where the sastugi, or snow drifts are quite large. We were jumping them or trying to steer around them, to keep the damage inside our sleds to a minimum. But with the wind here, which is extremely gusty, you feel like you’re riding on a bucking bronco, particularly in the afternoon, when the wind starts to slow down quite a bit.
That’s the one consistent thing we’ve had throughout this journey, is the wind decreasing as the afternoon goes on. After 8 hours we pretty much call it quits. Partly because our knees are screaming and aching, and partly because the wind is down to such a low level it makes sailing very difficult and extremely slow.
But we’re feeling pretty good. We’ve got approximately 716 miles to go to the pole. We went at it hard today, keeping our breaks short and tidy. Tea, nibble and drink and we’re off again. That’s essentially how our routine breaks down.
We want to say hello to what we call the McDonald’s guys in Palo Alto, who are charting this and passing the information to kids in playgrounds and schools. We think that’s pretty cool and we think about you and what you’re doing. Keep it up.
The New York kids who are studying the journals. Who else are you studying? If you could write us back about that, it’s driving us nuts. We want to know who the other explorers might be.
And to the Swiss cooks, don’t lose your jobs over this! We’re looking for good food when we come home. Hang tight and the web site will always be there. Keep dishing up good food.
Adios to all of you.
December 11, 2000
Well, hi all. It’s Ann and Liv from the ice again. It’s not a bright and cheery Monday; it’s a gray and dreary Monday. It’s the 11th of December. We woke up to 20 below, leveling off when we left the tent this morning. At 5.30 tonight it dropped very rapidly to 25 below and seems to be holding steady.
We made 9.4 miles today. We’re at 10,550 currently, so we dropped a bit from yesterday.
We got up this morning with very high hopes of sailing, as we do every morning since Wednesday. We did a three-hour sail/walk, as we call it. We’re actually moving faster than if we were pulling. We used the 15-meter sail and Liv had the idea during the night to take the flap off in the side wind and see if that would buoy up the sail a bit, and it did. That allowed us to go for three hours at a sailing/walking kind of tempo, which is not particularly fast as you can tell by our mileage.
Then the wind dropped to next to nothing and the angle changed. We weren’t able to utilize any of the breezes in the air, so we pulled for two hours.
Just as Liv said yesterday, we’re trying to maximize what we’ve got to work with and not burn ourselves out knowing that when the wind does kick in, our moment to shine will come. It’s frustrating, yet our spirits are high.
We’ve used this time to heal tendonitis and arm pulls and those kinds of things, so there is a sunny side to everything.
The landscape is spectacular. We had a little bit of frost, a kind of snow that sticks to everything as you breath, so there is a bit of humidity in the air. That makes it a little bit chillier feeling. But it makes us look dramatic looking during the day, as we’re breathing and everything is sticking to us. Its sticking to the ice and snow around us, so it’s really gorgeous and it changes.
Everyday we wake up and it looks like we pitched the tent in a totally different place than we put it the night before. Although we had that experience the last time we were here, it never ceases to amaze us. We’re enthralled with the little things around us.
Thanks again for all you’re help and support.
December 7, 2000
Hi all this is Ann and Liv from the ice, day 24, December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day.
Happy Birthday to Rick, Pat, Dan, and Tom. It was a tough day today; we didn't move anywhere.
It's an amazing phenomenon to be in this enormous place and not have a ripple in the tent fabric... at all. I guess this is what sailors experience.
We decided not to move. We waited anxiously most of the day, with little teases from the wind here and there, thinking that it might come up. As Liv said yesterday we are in fairly deep snow, so pulling for several hours produces very little, as opposed to sailing. So we chose to wait.
We repaired our sleds; our sled bag covers are taking quite a beating. Through no fault of their own. We chose a lighter fabric to try to lighten things up and it's wearing down. So we did a lot of sewing and solar charging of the power book. We dried out our sleeping bags which was an absolute delight. We dried out our mountain hardwear bivy and pad system and sleeping bags too. We hung them in the sun and they, even though it was about 15 below, very quickly lost all their frost and ice and regained their loft. We know we're going to have a great night tonight.
Our position is still the same. We woke up to a 25° below morning it's currently in our early evening. It's 15° below, the sun is out, it's total calm, and there's absolutely no movement.
We've been in our general wait pattern. We packed up everything as if we will be traveling tomorrow morning bright and early. We're hoping for a long day behind the sails.
We had great success charging the powerbook, which we haven't done thus far, so that felt like a small victory. We also made small repairs. So that's our report for today. I hope Liv can bring you better news tomorrow.
Hang with us — we will be moving soon.
December 5, 2000
Hi all. It is day 22.
We started off the morning at –30 F, with our hearts full of great promise to do some kilometers and miles.
We’re at 10,940 feet, so not a lot has changed there. The sun was out all day today — still is. We still saw the moon and it’s just a spectacular sight in every direction.
Probably the best sailing conditions we will ever encounter. Very few sastrugi, (the drifting and compaction of snow and ice which create formations that resemble waves or dunes.) We sailed for about 7 hours with breaks, stopped at about 4:20 and are feeling very good about our 60 miles, and hope we can repeat that on several more occasions. We’ve gone about 306 miles total. But, we have a long way to go before we have even started our last trip at 80 degrees.
I thought of my brother Hunter and my brother Bill and my brother-in-law Andrew all day today because they would’ve absolutely loved this activity of sailing and being near edges. Seeing this landscape is incredible, it really looks like we are sailing off the edge of the globe. You can see how those early sailors got a little freaked out with the prospect of just dropping off the edge of the horizon, although ours just keeps reappearing. We don’t seem to drop off. The miles keep stretching on.
We love all of the messages that so many of you are sending all around the world. Particularly, we want to send out a message to Melissa in Ohio. Keep it up! We will be thinking of you as we’re pulling because I know you are doing a pull each and every day with your battle with leukemia. We will keep you in our thoughts and we really appreciate you tapping into our Web site and dropping us a note. It really helps fuel our fire. Also, I want to say hi to B.G.’s nephew in Seattle. Thanks for his messages almost daily. They give us a great chuckle to know that we have a good friend way out on the west coast of the U.S.
And to everyone else who has been following us. The Girl Scouts all around the world, just a mind-boggling response that we’re getting and it really is impacting us greatly as we try and dig deep and find some more energy in our muscles to push it out for one last hour.
And to everyone else who has been following us. The Girl Scouts all around the world, just a mind-boggling response that we’re getting and it really is impacting us greatly as we try and dig deep and find some more energy in our muscles to push it out for one last hour.
So, thank you very much to all. Love and miss you and we’ll check in tomorrow with hopefully a very similar report. Upbeat and lots of miles!
That’s it for now.
December 3, 2000
Hi gang, happy Sunday. It’s day 20 on the ice.
It was about –20 F when we got up this morning at 6:30, but it started warming up by the time we left the tent around 8:30am it was –15 F. We had sunlight and good wind for the 15 square meters. We are at 11,050 feet, so we climbed little bit up again.
We made it 32.7 miles; you hear a little disappointment in my voice because we fell to 4 hours. Two of the first hours were really good. We moved along with no mishaps and just kept going, and then the wind dropped a bit and I really struggled and finally had to quit about 2:30. So, very similar to yesterday only a little bit more disheartened at not being able to increase the hours sailing and capitalize.
There is absolutely no wind currently. The sun is still out, it’s absolutely gorgeous. We’re hoping this is not a trend that it’s just a nice way to go to sleep with a little heat.
Liv is telling me to tell you about my shoulder. My shoulder is sore; she is nursing me back to health with hot water bottles on the strain muscle. Now I’ve upped the dosage from 2 pills a day to 3, and I’m going to do that regime for the next 3 days and hopefully get this thing enough on the mend where I can put in the longer hours so we can make the miles.
We’re currently at 215 total miles, and still a ways to go. It’s flat, and there are sastrugi. Liv now is totally on ropes with her sled pulling behind her. Again, the thermoses and the gear are taking a beating. Seems like more in her sled because of the ropes, perhaps. Her sled just flies off the sastrugi, it’s really quite a sight. I’m not brave enough to be able to get it on film just yet, as I have my hands full with the sail. But, she is really going and it’s really fun to watch. She’s really a good sailor, and I trail behind her. So, hopefully I can turn that around.
The sun is out and we have had Kentucky cake and a good dinner, and looking for brighter horizons tomorrow.
Hope you all are well. Thanks for all your support and keep it coming our way, we are feeling it out here on the ice.
It’s chilly because we are high up and we’re pointing our noses south.
December 1, 2000
Hi all, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. It’s December 1, hard to believe.
This morning it was 26 F below and currently it’s 18c below zero. But, typically when we knock off at about 9:00 it’s entering the 30 F below to the 35 F below zero range probably because of the altitude. Today we’re currently at 10,940 feet, and we’re feeling pretty good because we’ve accomplished so far, our all-time high, which we hope to shatter quickly — 31.5 miles.
Most of the day we had a white out. It was pretty gusty and we decided to go with the wind with 15-meter sail, with the flap. We charged out with rocking speed. We we’re probably outside for about 7 hours, maybe 4 to 5 hours of that we were sailing. The rest we were working on, again with what we call the spaghetti, the tangle of the lines and some more issues with Liv’s tow bar.
Currently, she no longer has any bar. She’s pulling her sled with rope. It really demonstrates the power of the wind and the heaviness of the sled. It just totally bent our titanium tow bars and she’s got them strapped all over the back of her sled. She looks likes a junkyard heading down the ice in the foggy, foggy white. So, we had a pretty good day.
I have named my 11 meter sail, which I’m more fond of then my 15 square meter, "Lizzy", after my cousin who is battling cancer right now, and who is pulling a whole lot harder then I am. So, it keeps my thoughts going her way.
Other than that, we are enjoying a little hot chocolate and Liv’s mom’s wonderful fruitcake and celebrating the first day of December and a Friday night. We’re rocking out on the ice.
It’s going to get a lot harder on the legs and we’re feeling our age, but we’re smiling tonight.
That’s it for now and tune in tomorrow.
See ya, bye.
November 29, 2000
Hi this is Ann and Liv from the ice. It’s the 29th of November.
Last night it was -30c below and it’s about -20c now. It’s still early, we are up high, so the temperature seems to drop. We did 17.1 miles today. We are at 10,115 feet and feeling it.
We had a clear and windy day. We did sailing for about three hours and then did sort of a sail/walk for about an hour and 20 minutes. First day with no real equipment failures and we are over 104 miles in total. We are feeling the altitude however.
I think the drawback to the sailing is that we have pretty good headaches. It’s probably because we are moving faster then we would if we were pulling. So, all-in-all a good day, but feeling a little down and out in the head. But, coming around with some tea and looking forward to sunshine and wind tomorrow to keep the mileage pushing.
So, that is our report for today. Zoe, the chocolate is starting to finally disappear.
November 27, 2000
Hi Gang, it’s about minus 20 degrees Celsius tonight and we did about 7.83 miles.
It started out windy and sunny this morning with a promise of good sailing and quickly went to no visibility and pure white out, although, we continued to try to sail. After a lot of tangled lines, we managed to get in about 3 hours of slow and steady sailing. It pushed us along a little further.
It’s amazing what you can do in three hours sailing as opposed to 6 hours of pulling. It’s about the same amount of kilometers. We’ve done about 84 or 85 miles total in two weeks time. We’re feeling good about it.
We have high hopes for sailing in the next few weeks with excellent snow conditions for sailing and hopefully some good wind and a little sunlight to see where we’re going for a change.
Liv’s pull bars have been spliced together with a variety of Velcro and straps. They’re quite a bit shorter but seem to be working. We’ve flipped our spikes upside down which helps.
So all is well two weeks into the trip. Check in with us tomorrow.
November 23, 2000
Hi Gang, we made approximately 7.19 miles today. It’s very windy. Liv almost lost her fingers trying to get a reading on the wind meter. So let me tell you, it’s really blowing.
We had a little sunlight for the first time in a long time, so visibility got a little bit better. However, the snow was really sticky so the pulling got exceedingly hard. We did six hours of a strong, hard pull and then called it quits after that.
Our faces are peeling and we look kind of rough, but other than that all is well.
Talk to you later.
November 21, 2000
Hi gang, it’s Ann and Liv again. We’re leaving the Sygyn Glacier. We really did a long climb today, almost straight up at times.
Partial visibility when we started at 8:30 this morning, by 10:30 it was poor, by 3:00 we stopped. We thought we were surrounded by very large crevasses and wanted to be prudent. We are taking it feet by feet.
We’re eating full rations in the evening. We’re still eating half rations in the morning. We don’t know what the wind speed is right now, but it’s pretty windy. We are bundled up in all of our down and jackets and we just finished dinner and having a cup of tea.
November 19, 2000
It was –8c this morning, now it’s –14c. As you know we have not moved and we are in a crevasse area, so we felt it was not prudent to head out. We have had a restless day in the tent doing things like working on Liv’s sail, and cutting the mosquito netting out of the tent, which was collecting snow. But the tent has been going really well in the storm. We still have a leak in the stove, a slow leak, which we are catching in a film canister. But we haven’t been able to solve the problem. We don’t know if it is the pumps or the vials. But it’s a steady, one drip per minute thing; nothing to be concerned about. We are hoping that tomorrow will be a better day in terms of travel. We are actually going to be traversing the glacier to get away from the crevasse area, going over to Uggas (?) position. So the mileage might be low on your meter, but hopefully we’ll be making more mileage than we actually read by going across than up a very steep section of the glacier.
I think that is all the news that we have. It is actually snowing. It’s the first time we have actually seen snow come out of the sky. The wind has died down and snow has started to fall. It is a very beautiful site, but makes for really hard travel tomorrow unless some winds comes down and hard-packs the stuff in.
We did our psyche test today, which always gives us great amusement. And we had a bath, which consists of warming up a little towellet. So that was our day; a lot of reading and journaling and a little laptop. We got the Powerbook out and it works fine. It has been doused in snow, as all the electronics have, and they seem to be working well. If we get a little sun we might be able to charge our batteries.
But until then, we are happy as clams and we’ll keep inching along, hoping to say goodbye to these mountains in the next 2 days.
November 18, 2000
Today it was -10 c, currently it is -12 c. We made 6.71 miles, close to 6,000 feet. Started out in the morning with whiteout, marginal visibility, very gusty winds. The mountains then became somewhat visible, which aided in our navigation. We started pulling at 10 of nine, pulled close to three hours and decided to give sailing a try.
We pulled out the 11-meter sail and immediately Liv had a challenge. We pulled it up and hopped on my sled and we sailed away in tandem; one 11-meter sail pulling both sleds and the both of us. We did that for a short distance, very exciting. The winds picked up a bit, so we packed up the 11-meter and got out the storm sails and got further up the Sygyn Glacier and then it got really dusty, which didn’t help us much.
So anyway, we packed up our storm sails about 2 p.m. and decided to ski for another hour to warm up and found ourselves on quite a slope. Just as Liv began to turn around and wonder what the heck we are going to do because it was so hard moving forward, her ski punched through a rather large crevasse. At that point, we decided to back down and make camp, just in time as the winds picked up. Once again we put our tents up, the second night in a row, corner by corner.
We are tucked in here and Liv is working on her 11-meter sail. It is quite a mess and she is showing great patience. She has been working on it for several hours. We have had dinner, soup and chips. Thinking of Mariko and jet lag. And the wind has died down considerably. The temp seems to be steady and still warm. So that’s where we are, a little bit encouraged by the sailing and thinking about everyone back home. Tomorrow is Einar’s birthday, and we are going to celebrate with cake. Ann and Liv, signing off.
Listen to Ann give her update
November 17, 2000
Ann and Liv still on the Sygyn Glacier, inching our way along. It’s about -10c. We have made about 4.22 miles today. Very poor visibility when we woke up. Had a good start at 9:30 a.m., and at 10:15 a.m. we were trying to pop up our sails. Very exciting. Gained some altitude.
Listen to Ann give her update
November 16, 2000
Hi, Ann and Liv here. It’s Thursday, the 16th of November. We had a good first two hours pulling. A little bit of snow on the ground, beautiful clear sky. Actually saw birds, Petrals, way up, beautiful. We have been enjoying the mountains on either side of us.
After two hours of pulling we tried getting the sails up and Liv was pulled away and used her knife to cut the line. When we started dealing with the sail we realized the sail was also torn. That was one of the many things she did, sewing. We’ve got some repairs to do. It’s 20 below and we’ve had our first meal. We have been on half rations, because we are just working up our appetite as we go up the glacier.
Good day but a little wild. Hope for bigger things tomorrow. Signing off, Ann and Liv on the Sygyn Glacier.
Listen to Ann give her update
November 13, 2000
We have landed. It’s six o’clock Cape Town time. We are standing on the Blue Ice runway. It’s about –15 c. It’s a gorgeous day, very little wind.
After we refuel and unload our gear from this giant bird, we are going to head south.
We could not have asked for a better day or an easier landing. Thanks to all of you. Be extra kind to Mariko. She was a gem. We were crying on the tarmac. We miss her already, as we do all of you. Talk to you later. Bye
Listen to Ann give her update
November 10, 2000
The word has come in from Punta - the plane will fly! Liv and I could be on the ice soon. We could be in our tent tomorrow. What a thought!
We sit writing postcards and letters for the last time until we reach the South Pole. One more shower tonight before leaving for the Cape Town International Airport.
The last weeks have been good ones, but it is clearly time to be off. We have felt the weather change here in Cape Town since we arrived. The cool nights have given way to a hot heavy air. Not the kind of weather a Norwegian does well in!Our activities have varied. Some days we hike in the mountains surrounding the town. They are full of succulent flowers that seem to survive in rock and sand.
A few days ago we drove to the beach and put up our sails. The wind was gusty and swirled in all directions. We put up our 15-meter sails and all seemed well. Suddenly I was airborne and heading out to sea. It was an amazingly fast ride that left me splat in the wet sand, dazed. All I could do was laugh in amazement. An old golden retreiver, soggy and hot, came over to investigate and eventually plopped down next to me in the shallow water. Needless to say, that was the end of our beach sailing. Sails heavy with sand in the chambers, we headed to find a beer and lunch.
I have spent two nights poring over the weight on our sleds. Some days ago we did a dry run and divided the gear and food up into the two sleds. Our sleds carried all the items as long as the sleeping bags were tied on top. A week on the ice, we concluded, and the bags would be secured inside the sled bag covers. With the ice now fast approaching and real, I totalled the weight again; 265 pounds not counting our skis and boots and the clothes on our backs. This number after taking out four days of our extra food. We look at the list over and over to see where we can shave pounds or even ounces. Pages of books and manuals taken away if they don't say enough - tooth brushs sawed in half, etc. We will keep looking, as every little ounce helps in the long haul.
The beginning of the trip is critical because we will be pulling, not sailing, and warming to the life on the ice. Of course this is also the time when sleds are the heaviest. We must take caution.
We have met wonderful people during our stay as well. The people at our guest house are fantastic, from owner to the women who clean our room. There is nothing like clearing your own plates in the morning to win a staff over. I keep going into the kitchen and chatting with the women, Ericka, Rita and Lizzie. At first they seemed a bit uncomfortable, as this was clearly breaking with the norm. I explained that in my family's house the kitchen is where all things happen. They totally knew then, and their body language relaxed. Liv and I feel like we almost live here. Lanie, the owner, has helped move our sleds and gear to her garage and insists we walk through her house to the short cut.
Tomorrow, Liv tells me, is the full moon. If one is to believe in luck, it is our day. I hope my next journal entry is from the ice! Thanks all for your kind words of support. We can't begin to express the power such words have and the strength it gives us in our waiting and as we ski.
I am off to shoo the cockroaches from our boxes in the garage and pack for what we hope is the final time.
November 1, 2000
The day that has always been on the calendar for departure!
Expeditions, however, never fully keep to schedules in the areas where we can't control. Looks like Friday might be our day if the weather is good.
Our days are full in Cape Town. S full today, in fact, that a hike did not happen. Liv and I got up early to head to the downtown area and go to a government building to renew our visas. Liv's had expired and mine would the following day. When you enter the country no one alerts you to a little sticker they place in your passport with a date on it. The dates don't seem to have any connection to a departing flight. Our group has lots of different dates written in. After we stand in line for almost an hour, Liv discovers she is not only in the wrong line but also on the wrong floor of this big building. Both of us in different ways try to explain the fact that we have no ticket (our plane to the ice doesn't issue one) and that we really don't know when we will leave. We keep saying it’s dependent upon the weather.
We came to this situation knowing not only that it would be confusing and different for the people on the other side of the counter, but that it would also take forever. I had brought an international Newsweek to catch up a little and bide my time. I sat with Liv (who had a much more complicated situation than I) and passed out Expedition stickers. After a half day, she will return in the morning, as the system was backed up. We know we are in another country.
Spent the rest of the day measuring out the rest of our drinks into rations, instructing the film crews coming on the flight what to wear and expect and starting the process of weighing our gear and food bit by bit. The Gu (an energy, calorie source that helps replenish electrolytes etc.) that was shipped exploded (or some packets did) so I also did some washing of the packets that will be our lunch.
A late dinner and to bed.
October 31, 2000
I have been in Cape Town since the 17th of the month. It is hard to keep track of the days because we fill them quite easily.
There are always things to do before such a long trip. Odd pieces of gear filter in through customs, sewing face masks, going over repair or first aid kit with both of us in one place. The list goes on.
The big activity during the day this last week has been to unpack gear that was readied for domestic air travel and get it totally ready for the ice. We don't want to be getting our sled ready on the ice. So Liv and I are bagging up food bags so they're all ready for our sleds. We check our sails and all the lines, make the tent totally ready to be popped up each night on the trip and go over each item just in case we forgot something in the hustle of getting out of our respective hometowns.
John Tuttle, our tech guy, has patiently been going over and over each technical piece to get us to a confident place in using each item. Cords going to the solar panel are now looking familiar. The sun in Cape Town has quite a punch so we have had no problem charging the batteries from here. All these things help keep us calm in the waiting, as well as focusing us in on what's ahead.
We're staying near a mountain called the Lion's Head, and we hike that quite frequently to keep in shape. By and large what makes the waiting easier is that our team, currently John and Mariko, is easy to be with, helpful and cheerful. Africa and the people here also make the stay wonderful.
Sunday we visited a township and went to church and a community center. It was wonderful! Our school visit was also a highlight. Media keeps us busy as well, so our days are full. The support that pours in through the site and our emails is wonderful. We will be truly fueled by this when the wind blows cold.
October 7, 2000
Up early to work on loose ends for the big trip. It has snowed a little twice this week and again today. Not the stuff that sticks to the ground, but it is nippy for sure.
After some work indoors, I ventured out with the dogs for just a normal slow wonderful walk. Gloves and hat needed. Sat by the river and watched the dogs let their noses drive them wild.
Headed downriver to the town below where I live to pick up the last remaining orders of food needed that will be packed up tomorrow in a warehouse with a vacuum packer so we can save space.
A late and very cold afternoon tire pull, which the dogs loved today. Two outings for them makes them happy. They like this cool weather too. A hot, hot tub and more odds and ends work. Good day.
October 5, 2000
7:00 a.m. bike ride in the cold wind. Long pants, gloves reluctantly become a necessity. Even then the muscles don't warm up for a few miles. Worked the hills hard again. Twenty turkeys clustered in a field gleaning seeds and things left over from the cut crop.
Hustled into town to get to HCMC where my medical team waited to teach me stitches, dislocations, taping and what and how to use our first aid kit. Andrew, my brother-in-law who helped set this up, joined me for the tutorial. I really love this type of thing. We stitched up pig’s feet and learned different techniques. Three and a half hours later I was flying out of there to the next stop: my offices to meet my two brothers in from out of town. Brother Bill reps outdoor equipment and he has been helping Liv and me get the best gear to keep us warm and safe.
A quick lunch with them. Then John, our tech guy, and I were off to an ice cream freezer to test all the tech gear going to the ice. We were greeted by lots of media, changed our clothes to warmer things and entered the deep freeze. The Simple Simon Company that delivers groceries allowed us to be in their freezer. Surrounded by all those flavors of ice cream I had absolutely no desire to have a scoop. It was cold!!
John and I learned that the mouse of the Power Book does not move with
mittens or gloves. Only bare fingers on that one. Other than that it worked great. Most everything performed well. Batteries die after a couple of hours but that is no surprise. Our solar panel will help that situation.
After a couple of hours, we thanked our freezer hosts and headed for a hot cup of cocoa! I went to my parents in the evening as all my family is in from out of town. I want to absorb as much as possible of their kids and them before the takeoff next week.
October 4, 2000
Up at the crack this morning as film crews were coming to film my training in the woods and do some interviews. A daylong affair. Very dark at 6 a.m. now. Fall is in full bloom with the leaves yellow and red and falling.
When the crews arrived, we stepped out into the dark cold heading down to the river to catch the sun rising and the river steaming. A huge flock of turkeys roosting in the trees takes flight with the noise of five/six people rustling leaves under foot. It was an amazing sound to hear these huge birds reluctantly take off from above. If that wasn't good enough, as I was standing at the bottom of a hill waiting for my cue to run up, an owl made its presence known with a tremendous call. Not the typical "who cooks for you" call.
The crew was gone by 5:30 in the afternoon and I was able to pull my tires for real. No start and stops for the camera.
October 3, 2000
Hard chilly bike ride this morning. Sought out the hills and really tried to push hard to feel the legs strain. The first few miles were very cold. Almost time to get out of the shorts and into the long pants. I am reluctant thus far. Also pushed because there is a lot going on at the offices. Our partners are still there and a film crew arrives from Atlanta to follow me around for the next three days. I had to at least vacuum!
A full day and evening. My family arrived last night from Columbia. My father is getting a big humanitarian award tonight and all sibs have driven and flown in for the deal. Very exciting and it gives me a chance to say my good-byes over the next week and a half. Something I've been a bit in denial about.
October 2, 2000
The sun does not peek up over our bluff until just after 7 a.m. now. Fall is really here. There still is a warmth in the air however. I headed out for a long run with the dogs. Today it was so effortless. Muscles rested and relaxed and the head wandered through the packing list but not in a stressful way. My thoughts moved swiftly and so everything felt light and good.
Blue lugged behind on the railroad stretch twice and I stopped to wait a moment while he caught up. Very unusual. I made sure I stopped by one of the streams so he had permission to sit in the water and drink. By the time I climbed up from the river to the bluff and into the quarry, he pulled ahead and I saw blood on his foot. He had sliced his pad on something, which explained his slowness on the tracks.
After a couple hours, I headed back home in a headwind and finally felt a little strain. Thought of Liv doing four hours running in the swamp and kicked my pace up a notch and headed home.
October 1, 2000
Coffee on the deck and the fire still has a hot bed of coals from last night.
Today was more of yesterday. I love this kind of work although there is a bit more pressure than usual to get it all done today because its almost time to go.
Put the vegetable garden to bed with the exception of the carrots and Brussels sprouts and celery. Tilled the soil and burned some leaves to mulch in over the winter. Chain sawed some dead and dying trees. By the days end I felt a bit bent over and pooped. Went for a long walk in the early evening with Pam and the dogs. A dinner from the garden and refined the food list needing to be tackled for Liv and myself. Can't miss anything so I continue to go over it to make sure
September 30, 2000
Fantastic fall day! It started out a bit gray and moved into a nice sunny burst of color. My training was getting the farm a bit in shape for the coming winter. Tucking the place to bed a bit before I leave for four months.
Last grass cutting of the summer, then moving onto the tractor to get the running trails, soon to be ski trails, groomed. A fire to clean up brush from trimming the apple trees, which will serve as hot dog and marshmallow roaster when the family arrives to celebrate my 45th.
September 23, 2000
Just got off the phone with Liv. Our almost daily check-in about various items for the trip. She is just coming out of having a pretty good cold. I am fighting the same.
Up early to list out remaining food to purchase and how to pack efficiently without using too much packaging as we would have to carry that out as well.
A two-hour tire pull in the drizzle and cool, cool air. Good to sweat in the cold. The dogs are pleased it’s a Saturday and we are around. It feels good to feel strong. I am a bit tired of these training rotations so am thinking of new things to get the same workout of legs and lower back with a different activity.
Off to food shop and a fund-raiser.
September 22, 2000
A good, wet, cold run this morning. I am back! Fall is truly here. Long sleeves and shorts with a cold drizzle. It feels like Oslo. With the cooler weather I felt strong and fast. Reality might be different but feelings are good too. The legs — well the body could run forever today. After a little over an hour I turned for home only because the day at the office awaits. Chica has pulled a muscle in her leg. Probably chasing a rabbit. I left them inside.
Picked up three stoves we will take with us and four pumps. This seems like a lot but the stove is just about the most important piece of gear we could take. Without the stove and fuel, we could not melt ice for water or cook much of our food. Taking extras in parts, etc., is worth the weight.
September 21, 2000
Today I burned out! Early morning a couple of guys from the Minnesota
Historical Society came and picked up all my North Pole clothes and equipment for their new home. After they left I decided to work at home. My energy was nowhere to be found. I went for a walk with the dogs in part to see if I could pick up my energy (walked in my ski boots to keep breaking them in) and partly to get to know our joint again. It’s a different experience to walk your land from pulling tires and running it.
When I returned I tried to get some office things done. The house felt cold so I picked things up and sat on the crisp but sunny deck. Very little work got done. I was just stalled out.
I knew what this was. I call it my people hangover. I need at least one day a week just to be out at the farm working outside with no obligations. Even fun obligations. I had hit my limit with all of last weekend at a conference and not getting home until Sunday late.
I tried to honor this state but it is hard to relax with so much to do.
Every time I would just sit, my mind would not shut down and yet I could barely keep my eyes open.
Another long, long walk with the dogs and small bits of projects completed. Hopefully a good workout day tomorrow and back in the swing.
September 20, 2000
Crack of dawn meeting for the AB Foundation. A 7:30 meeting for me means a 5:30 wake-up call. No tire pull this a.m. A full day ending with a wonderful party to send me off from my committee and Foundation board.
September 19, 2000
No training today. Felt funny actually to skip a day. Up early to be at the office for a live chat with Apple. Talking with people in other countries means uncomfortable hours for someone sometime. Liv was on line as well so it was a different way to talk about gear, etc. In the lull of online action we chatted about our lists. She skipped the last one at night because it was in the wee hours for her. My sister from Colombia logged on too.
September 18, 2000
Back at it this morning. A run with the dogs in the wet and cold. A little different weather than Colorado. Fall is definitely here. Got home last night and quickly slipped into all that needs to be done before we depart. These days the lists only get shorter for a moment and then it seems you are again adding to them.
It’s crazy at the office. So many different things going on. Everyone trying to get their responsibilities taken care of and coordinate with others. Food and gear being delivered and appointments being set up.
A local company is allowing me to work in their walk-in freezer to test the tech gear for several hours. See how batteries and screens will do. Made an appointment with some local doctors for a little two-hour class in the emergency room to brush up on some skills. It will be a busy last couple of weeks. The weather change is actually helpful for me to keep moving as it is a great reminder of what is ahead and that summer is truly over.
September 16, 2000
A short run on a beautiful day. I am in Aspen and can feel the altitude. I tried to take it easy but the weather is perfect and after two days here I feel strong.
A group of us from the conference hiked up the gorge. Fall colors in full splash and just when I seemed to get a bit warm a gentle breeze appeared. Good conversation and a nice walk.
September 11, 2000
Woke up hungry! My appetite is healthy for sure. Awoke to fog with a sliver
of sun trying to break through. Decided to run this morning to shake my legs
out. Fall is coming quickly this year it seems. A bit chilly in the shorts
I was soaked before I made it to the meadows, which lead me down to the
river. The grass is full of moisture with dew and fog. It is spectacular! I
try and soak up the scene to pull back out on the ice. It's green but you
almost see the dying back or dryness of fall coming. Lists penetrate my
thoughts anyway. Hard to escape them these days. So much to do in five
Worked on my journals this weekend. Drawing in the charts and things I will
need. Ordered underwear and finalized the list of personal items I
need to buy that will go with me to the ice. An addition this trip that I
have never had is drugstore glasses. I want to leave my perscription
glasses at home but will still need magnification to replace the bifocals.
Rushed into the office where a full house of folks were busy. Departure is
in the air.
September 10, 2000
A storm blew in last night and cooled everything off. A beautiful day. I
ditched the dogs and road my bike into town to my parents' for an evening
birthday celebration for my sister. Wasn't sure how the 60-plus miles would
go or how long it would take. Wasn't even totally sure of my route. It was a
nice shakeup to the routine to have a little adventure.
The first hour was such fun as I traveled out of the country through the
farm country with plenty of hills and scenes to look at. At the midway point
my rhythm was broken up a bit with traffic and heading onto a bike trail
full of kids, rollerbladers, walkers and bikers of all ages to watch out
for. I had to drop my speed quite a bit.
Found myself at my parents after riding through downtown St. Paul and over
the Mississippi River in two hours 45. Andrew, my biking coach
brother-in-law, does it in two so I feel OK. I do prefer my country rides
where I go
perhaps a shorter distance but at a harder thigh-burner rate.
September 9, 2000
Muggy weather blew in but the tires don't care. It is my day regardless of
thick humid air.
Since I travel at a walk's pace, I asked if Pam wanted to go with. She put
my backpack with the kitty litter in it so our walk wouldn't feel too
lopsided and we all headed out. The dogs are always thrilled when the
running shoes or pulling boots come out. As if for the very first time. I
have less enthusiasm!
On the gravel road we simply did not talk as the tires make quite a racket.
Hitting the hay field, I can't talk because the pulling is so hard. A
half-mile into the pull and I am dripping.
At the railroad tracks, Pam pulls out ahead to go to the river so the dogs
get to swim. I am left to push to keep the pace up with the constant tug
from the rocks and ties on the tracks. I keep one ear open because Saturday
is a big train day and I want that little extra time to pull my tires off
the tracks. All this keeps me from getting too far into my thoughts.
The time it is taking me to do my loop has decreased so it's a signal to
it longer and put more rocks in the tires. Pam pulled the last little grass
path near our house to get a feel. That will probably be her last pull. :)
Not only was it nice to have company for a change, it was also nice to be
able to just calmly sit on the deck to cool down, stretch and not rush off
to the office.
August 29, 2000
Out the door at 7:00 to harness up and pull for an hour and a half. Trying
to use Liv's advice by straightening my back more so that most of the
pulling is in the legs. I know this but when I hit the long grass the
resistance is hard enough to encourage my to lean way forward. Today my mind
wandered only as far as the equipment list. What is left on the list that
still needs to be secured etc. I have found no need for the walkman so far
pulling the tires. I do have to pull my head out of the logistics every once
in a while to make sure the pace is up and I'm not just pulling but keeping
it on edge.
After yogurt and lots of water, (still pretty humid out) I made sure I did a
good session of stretching. This is something I have to consciously work on
as I tend to skip it.
A fax from Liv about sledges and tow bars. Each day we work on crossing one
more thing off the lists. At this stage its alot about equipment.
At lunch today I popped into a jewelry store taking a peek for the upcoming
Christmas. Need to plan ahead.
August 28, 2000
Tried to get up with the sun and felt like my muscles were thick. It must be the bike ride on Sunday mixed with lots of farm work. Blue, the black husky with the blue eye, started to howl when he saw me grab my running shoes. Always my cheerleaders for the morning routine.
After ten minutes I started to feel good again. The heaviness started to lift. The air is thick, however, with moisture and humidity. I am soaked by the first mile. I let my mind calculate where I can keep coming into contact with streams or the river so the dogs can divert. I don't have time to take a swim myself. Need to get into the office and work on getting things crossed off the lists that seem to grow more than shrink.
People at the office are getting their vacations in before the expedition launch. Everyone needing to recharge their batteries before mid-October.
After visiting the chiropractor at 5:00 to get straightened out — loosened up — I am home by 7:00 p.m. Dogs looked surprised to see me so early. Reward was to walk out the door with my running shoes. We ran a hot and sticky 6 miles at an easy pace with a skinny dip smack dab in the middle. The river to ourselves: Heaven! Home for a light salad and to coordinate calendars for the remaining weeks with Pam.
August 18, 2000
Came home last night once again late from the office. After the crew goes
home, I catch up on little things I just can't seem to finish. Although late
given the drive, I had to physically do something. Took a short run - taking
advantage of the cooler nights that have settled in in the last couple of
Decided to do a straight and easy run and pull tires on Saturday when I can
drag out the time with no office rush. My niece, who used to sit in the
and wiggle and rock and tell me to go fast, has decided I'm out of fashion.
Or maybe just too slow! At any rate my hopes of having a friend to break the
boredom of pulling have evaporated. Liv and I were talking the other day and
both noted that this time around the tire pulling is even more boring than
the last expedition! I will definitely have to pull out a Walkman to ease
sound and sensation of rubber on a railroad track!
Saturday will be a tire pull and Sunday a run and a weighted pack and hills.
I will also have to get the chainsaw out and clear a pulling path where a
couple of trees have fallen. This is joy work!
August 17, 2000
Legs tight from the tire pulling yesterday, so try and stretch them out a
little by simply doing a little over an hour's run. Made a good effort today
to stretch after the run to help my muscles loosen up a little. I enjoy a
little weights for both adding to the stretching routine as well as a little
I made sure the run had a good couple of hills along the way so that I am
getting both uphill and downhill muscle work. As I ran, I tried to
visualize anticipated junctures of our route on the trip. Played scenarios
in my head as a way of getting mentally prepared. It's fun to see where the
thoughts go to at that point. I wear my Norwegian cap to keep Liv in mind,
knowing she is halfway around the world training, too.
It's fun to feel strong.
August 16, 2000
It's 10:30 and I just huffed into the offices. I think my hour commute by car and
then a brisk walk from the cheap parking lot can be considered part of the
workout. I do my hand crunches in the car, almost always seem to do that
walk at a good clip, given the effort not to be too late for the meeting upon
arrival, and at least on this day, I am still trying to hydrate.
Today was a 2 1/2-hour hard tire pull. As I write this, my calves are still
a little achy and tight. Fortunately for me, the weather cooled a bit today. Because my route ends with a long stretch on the railroad tracks and then up
a long steep hill, I get a great upper-body workout as well. This route
takes me along a 40-acre cornfield, pulling through long grass to a 40-acre,
freshly cut hayfield, down a ravine and into an old quarry. An old gravel
road leads me down to the river and along the railroad tracks where I have
several options to head up, where I can work my way home. This route has a
variety of surfaces that make for a great workout. My four-legged training
friends, however, go off exploring, given my pace is very different than
No evening run tonight.
August 15, 2000
6:00 a.m. came quickly today! It has been so hot at night the last couple of
nights that I did not do my evening run after work. Dew point going down
slightly so a long run with good hill work. Liv has me trying a new approach
to the hills. Instead of running up the hills, I am trying to stretch and
push while pumping with my arms, mimicking the way you would approach
hitting the hill on cross country skis. It definitely works the calves and
lower back and I am moving almost at the same speed as my labored run up
these long hills.
My two dogs Chica and Blue fell right into line this morning. Their bodies
just exude joy. I can see them imagining pulling the sled as Chica assumes
the lead and Blue on her tail. Yesterday they were a little out of practice
as they occasionally stopped to sniff a scent which often left me short
stepping or making a jump. Today they were back instep.
Tried out a new fabric that is really soft and wicks the moisture through
the garment so you and the shirt don't feel wet. Polartec has been trying to
help us with the issue of pulling so hard on the ice that we actually sweat
which of course means chilling down when we stop.
Dashed to work and now off to investigate buying a bike to shake up my
training routine even further.
August 14, 2000
Back from a vacation of canoeing in the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) in Northern Minnesota. A different kind of trying. Carrying canoes over portages was definitely good for the legs, but it is not the same as my
Good to be back running with my furry four-legged friends. A short, hour run
today to shake out the legs in preparation for some good tire pulling
further in the week. A far cry from the Antarctic today. The dew point was
near 80 and the temperature near 90.
Made sure I did a good round of stretching after the run, using the hand
weights. Slammed several glasses of orange juice and water and rushed into
the office. Hand crunches (with rubber ring) on my hour commute and blasted
into the office to a full house! All nine of our team was in. A great crazy
way to re-enter after a break away. Balancing the workout — which is
increasing in time and commitment — with work needing to be done in the office
to get everything ready for this expedition is always a challenging part in
the day. Fortunately for me, I work with fun, talented people from which I
receive a great amount of energy from.
August 2, 2000
A beautiful morning. Cooled off some. The humidity has lifted a bit and the dogs and I have a little bit more spring in our step starting off. (This could be in my imagination.) Ran a long run to shake out the tire-pull of yesterday. Headed down the road and turned off to run the length of a freshly cut hay field. Once cut, I have a new area to head to. The field ends and I pick up a deer path and into an old quarry with an overgrown road. We wind our way down to the railroad tracks along the St. Croix River and flush up turkeys. Young ones learning to fly, flapping like crazy as we startled them. They aren't the best flyers anyway! Into the river for a quick dip and hills to home to get into the office for meetings and interviews.
August 1, 2000
The tire month begins!! My three car tires bob around on the path behind me. My breath is more labored than with the running. Thighs burn on the hills. I kept getting hung up when I pulled down the railroad tracks. Even my dogs think I'm odd, I think. Unlike with the running, they have plenty of time to explore off the trail because my pace is slower. Drenched by the time I climbed up the back ravine to the barn. Liv suggested one tire filled with cement so we don't get hung up so often on small stumps and things that just catch. I might give that a try. Certainly easier to lift just one tire off the tracks if a train is coming than three tied together.
July 31, 2000,
Long run this morning. I found ways to go up and down the river bluff four times to get the hill work in. This requires a bit of thought as it is hot, even at 7 a.m., and my huskies, especially Blue (the black one) needs a dip every 20 minutes or so. Our route takes us either near the river or small streams so the three of us can stop and let him dip. Even I hit the river today!
Liv and I are always asked what motivates us to do our workouts each day. Usually, the answer is that we just find them enjoyable. Today I laughed under my breath as I hit the last stretch home along the tall cornfield — that it is the bugs that keep me running. Deer flies and mosquitoes swarm over each of our heads as we run. Stop and become a meal!