So far

Yes, I’ve made it to Buenos Aires. The trip down was less than flawless, but I’ve made it. I forgot the one piece of paper I needed: receipt for the $160 Argentina reciprocity fee, nice one. Luckily, a super helpful guy at the front desk of the airline (Copa) volunteered to print it for me if I sent it to him.

Less luckily, the representatives were blissfully unaware of and refused to believe or check their website which indicates that skis and boot combo count as one piece of luggage (which is standard). However, my boot bag would count as a carry-on. This led to the time honored tradition of frantically throwing things between suitcases at the front of the ticket check-in line. Traditionally, it is absolutely essential that some of what is being moved around is the brightest color of dirty underwear. Luckily, my task was not weight related but rather of the get-pointy-things-that-tsa-doesn’t-understand-out-of-your-carry-on, a slightly newer tradition that usually requires the disposal of things like the guns from a GI-joe, nail clippers, or the ever threatening slightly too large bottle of shampoo. Don’t worry, despite my best efforts, the immensely dangerous harmonica in my bag was risk-evaluated.

In Buenos Aires, on the highways everyone is racing, motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic; back roads feel like alleys in a small European village. I stopped at a cafe this afternoon for a meal at an admittedly awkward mid-afternoon time. The proprietor casually provides a menu and some small chit chat. I order and he tells me they’re not serving food yet, it’s too early, but they have some ham, spinach, cheese wrap meal of the day — works for me.


The neighbor swings by lacking any sense of urgency for his afternoon coffee and chat, cigarette hanging low. Their conversation drifts topics as you might expect in one repeated daily. A petite, fragile, octogenarian women slowly makes her exit. She has fair skin (as do many Argentines), slightly wrinkled with age. She stands less than five feet tall these days, the years have given an arched back causing her to lean forward. Her walker leads her, each step could be measured in seconds and inches. She has this strange ability, though — it appears she is simply living in a slower moving world, it is not discomfort slowing her down. She is dressed in a basic, classic, checkered black and white jacket, hair covered by a small hat. She looks over at me for a long second, smiling as she exits. It’s one of those indescribable moments, you’re not sure why it matters but know that it does. We exchange smiles and with them a momentary shared appreciation of this very moment, this afternoon, right now, despite living in different generations and worlds. The moment. A minute later, the 20 something working the kitchen comes out to help her as she approaches the street. Several minutes later she has crossed the, small, one-way street and enters her apartment building. I imagine this is her trip for the day, and one that will replay tomorrow.






Antarctica, Let’s Go!

I’ve sadly let this blog fall by the wayside for the past few years, but fear not! It’s time for me to blog like it’s 2006. In a few short weeks I will be en route to Antarctica via Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, Argentina. It’s been a long journey to get to this point but the excitement hasn’t even begun yet. I decided while I was in Australia that I wanted to visit all 7 continents. Antarctica is probably the hardest, so let’s knock that one out early…

I looked at some seasonal jobs helping maintain research bases, an interesting potential exploration particularly into the life  of the people who live there. I also investigated a few cruises on retired research vessels. Ultimately, I found Ski-Antarctica which seems to be an awesome combination of things I love, namely adventure and skiing.

If you have great ideas about special things to record, let me know — currently I’m pondering some cool time lapses.

I’m practicing my technical skills, reading Nansen’s Farthest North (yes, I know, “North” Pole), and watching ridiculously awesome ski videos. However, I’m not kidding myself, I know this will be an incredibly challenging experience — and I’m psyched for it.

I’m throwing in a few random gear pictures to let your imagination run wild. You can expect to hear from me soon. Any insights? I’d love to hear from you.