Farewell South Pole
Well, this is it. The first LC-130 is on its way here and I'm getting on it. My room is packed up, my bags are palletized, I'm saying goodbyes and finishing up last minute work that I've procrastinated about for weeks.
Yesterday our satellite went down around the time that voting sites starting closing in the east coast states and predictions from exit polls starting making the news websites. Through updates emailed from Polie friends back in the states, news of the election trickled in. Our Comms staff here got updates from McMurdo over the HF radio which we used to update our own electoral map tracking results on our station scroller.
By the time Obama was called the winner by nearly all of the news sources, a large crowd was celebrating in the Galley. The celebration was filled with relief that he won and hope that we'll get our country back on the right track. We also had news that the weather forecast was looking good for both South Pole and McMurdo and that chances were very good we would be getting flights in the next day.
My last night here was a mixture of excitement, happiness and a little bit of melancholy. I've spent the majority of the past 6 years living and working in Antarctica. Life here has been a bizarre version of reality that seems so natural now and returning to the "real" world might take some adjustment.
I'm ready for it. I'm ready to face living back in the states again now that the future seems more hopeful. I'm ready to see my beloved family again and to be home for Christmas for the first time in a while. I'm ready to settle down in a home and to no longer call my self "homeless". Of course I've never really been homeless in the unfortunate way that thousands of people are struggling to overcome. I've been more of a globe-trotting gypsy and migrant worker by choice, blessed with generous opportunities and it's been a great adventurous lifestyle for me.
So what will happen to Homeless Heidi the blog now that Heidi the person is getting married and settling down in one spot? I don't know yet but I'll continue to do a few updates on the road so that Mom and Dad won't worry about me and I'll post some pictures from places that are much, much warmer than here.
It's been a fun journey and thanks to all of you who have been following the adventures. The plane is landing in one hour and I'll soon start the gradual migration north for the last time.
The 2008 Winterover Crew photo taken at Spoolhenge just before sunrise.