Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Return to Civilization (Sort of)

Late Sunday night I got an awesome phone call. Landon has landed safely back at McMurdo Air Force base, and is officially done with the research portion of his trip. 
One of the best things about this news is that he now has regular access to the internet and a phone in his room. Daily communication: don't take it for granted.
With the daily communication comes something almost as exciting: new photos!! Enjoy a little peek into what the last few weeks have looked like way down south:
Landon! Proof he is really there, even though he prefers sending photos of seals to actual pictures of himself.
This is our new friend Clement (Clem for short). I haven't actually met him, but I have talked to him on the phone once or twice. It's been great that Landon and his "roommate" get along so well.
This is where they shot "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Ok, not really. But it could have been. :) This one's for you, Fred!
Landon with a 'Delta' (no, I have no idea what that means - I'm guessing it translates roughly to "really big extremely large no seriously huge truck" in MacMurdoese)
Clem (and Landon's feet) inside the "cooking tent."
Camp. In Landon's words: "I believe it's the first camp of the traverse . . . but they all kind of looked the same (flat, endless snow, four tents . . . you get the picture. No, really, you do . . .)"

This is their radar sled.
Landon in front of "Camp 3."
Whoa! Don't tell BYU about his beard and crazy long hair!
 Landon again: "Me in my helmet and rebreather . . . I can't decide if I look more like Top Gun or Darth Vader . . . . hmmm, decisions, decisions."
Introducing...L. Burgie, rap star extraordinare!
I just learned this today. The spots in the sky are called "sun dogs." Apparently when you're at the bottom of the world things look a lot like Tatooine. 
Landon being a scientist.
One of the temporary shelters they stayed in at WAIS.

For those of you who have been wondering/hoping/praying that by some miracle we'd see him by Christmas, it's not an option at this point. There isn't a plane leaving for New Zealand until the 27th, so that really is the earliest possible flight. We're very grateful that so far the weather there has been remarkably temperate and there have been no major delays, so he'll get home as planned (at 3pm on Monday!). Thank you for your well-wishes that he'd come home sooner, I know that the many prayers have been one reason the weather has been so mild.

We are tantalizingly close to the end of this thing, and I am not without hope that the next few days will speed by with holiday cheer taking place of grinchly self-pity. Thanks again for the love and support.

5 days.


Jamie Blake said...

You guys are so close! Only 5 more days!

Kyle Andrew said...

I miss Landon too, but not cause he's in Antarctica... mostly because he's in Provo haha... Play soon?