Just got onto the continent today. It was a long flight all dressed up in the extreme cold weather gear, but of course, it was well worth it. We were allowed to look out the small windows of the C17 while we crossed over the ice boundry over the sea (where it turned from water to ice). It was stunningly beautiful and I hope that the pictures can even begin to justify it. We could also see the continent's black mountains, which are very very distinct against the snow and ice and sky, in the distance. The plane landed on a snow field that they call an airport. The sky was overcast and very gray making the ground, which is solid white in every direction, blend almost perfectly into it everywhere except for a few black mountains in the distance. The ride to McMurdo station from the air strip was also very interesting. To get from one point to another, vehicles have to follow lines of flags that are stuck in the ice. It is desolate and bleak and without the flags it would be practically impossible to navigate. The flags also serve as safe route markers since much of the travel is on ocean ice on the ice shelf, and being summer and all down here, the ice is melting leaving many crevaces and weak points. So like I said, very interesting and extremely exciting! The station is awesome. Since I will have several days here after New Years, I will talk mostly abuot it then.
I leave for the South Pole early tomorrow. I will write more from there as well as update all the pictures, and let me warn you, there are a lot!