7 November, 1999
The day has finally come for me to start the journey I have been waiting for. All of my planning, anticipation and apprehension culminate as a nervous ball in my stomach while I ride to the airport surrounded by my family and friends. If I had lived four generations ago this scene would be as I started out over the prairie in a covered wagon looking for the adventure and the unknown of the west. Two generations ago it could have been sailing to America for a new life. For me Antarctica embodies the last place on earth where you can go and feel challenged by the rawness of nature. Where the vastness, isolation and inhospitable environment continue to keep man and his encroachment at the edges. Here we are not in control, here there are fewer safety nets for our survival. Here we must take care, to take care of ourselves. Mistakes or carelessness can be fatal. I am filled with the excitement of this challenge both personally and professionally and know what ever happens I will be a different person when I return. If I canít go to the moon, this is the next best place.
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