Apr 28, 04 - In Norway
Apr 30, 2004 16:10 PDT
Apr 28, 04 - In Norway
Hello, I haven't forgotten about you! Satellite phone connection is more
difficult where I'm at, and I needed a bit of time to 'decompress' from
I'm in Longyearben, the Svalbard region of Norway. Our plane arrived
without incident from Borneo ice station. On the Russian plane were
about 40 trekkers and their gear.
Before boarding the plane, the polar greats posed for a picture. Borge
Ousland, Marek Kaminski, Victor Boyarski. They invited me to be in this
historic picture, and I was quite honored. It was a great moment for me,
I felt I've been accepted into the 'polar club' and earned their
We flew without incident for nearly three hours. When we arrived the
temperature was 35 degrees outside, which after being out in the arctic
for two months seemed very warm. I said goodbye to my polar colleagues
on the airport runway and made my way to a prearranged hotel room.
I didn't get the room with a private bathroom and tv like I had imagined
for so many days out on the ice, instead the place I am staying at is
very modest, with shared bathrooms and a community lounge with a tv. I
did however take 4 showers and finally feel clean. I also spent over
three hours brushing/ripping the tangles out of my hair. I ended up
tearing out a large dreadlock, ugh. At least I don't have to wear my hat
to hide my hair anymore.
My face is healing very fast. A close examination of my ankle suggests I
injured it worse than I thought. All in all, I'll live. And I'm still
bright and optimistic on the inside, regardless of what my exterior
might look like.
Last night I dreamt I was out on the ice, and I can feel it calling me,
tearing at my soul. I'll likely be back to do this again, perhaps
attempting it from the Canadian side where there's less chance for
delays and time is more under one's control.
Today in the small village I saw Marek Kaminski a few times and we had
dinner together. He helped a 15 year-old boy missing one arm and leg, to
ski the last degree to the pole this year. Truly inspirational. I also
posed for pictures with tourists that learned of my expedition while I
shopped for a brush and some shampoo.
There are several parts to an expedition. There's the concept phase, the
planning, preparation, training, marketing, fundraising and sponsorship,
the actual expedition itself, and the post-expedition and media/press.
Now I am in the post-expedition phase and will soon start to meet with
press and media, recounting my arduous and exciting journey to reach the
I head to London soon, probably to speak to the press, and then back to
I'd like to dedicate this update to all of my sponsors, especially
WorldWideLearn.com. Without them I wouldn't have been able to attempt
this once-in-a-lifetime trek. All of my sponsors (listed on my
northpolesolo.com website) helped me get out on the ice, and helped me
achieve my dream of going to the North Pole. Thank you very much for
your support!! Please be sure to visit my sponsors websites. You can
count on, if it was good enough for me to bring to the North Pole, it's
likely the best you can get!