Marc Ankenbauer's 10+ year quest to jump in every named lake in Glacier and Waterton National Parks for charity.
168 lakes. Only 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ZERO LAKES LEFT!!!
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

Inside look into McMurdo Research Station

So, it is 11pm and I’m scheduled to fly to the South Pole on a C130 in the morning.

Pretty CRAZY statement, huh?  Never saw that one coming.

This means though, that I will be leaving McMurdo Research Station.

I’ve enjoyed McMurdo a lot.

It was overwhelming at first but I’ve settled in and really like its rhythm.

I’ve interacted with lots of parts and areas of the station.

I thought it might be fun to show you some pictures of the landscape, the vehicles, the buildings and odd little nuances of McMurdo.

 

There is a very dominant mountain across the Ross Sea called Mt. Discovery.

The extensive web of power lines throughout town can’t even diminish its dominance.

The vehicles around here might be the most unique part of McMurdo.

When you first get here you fly in on a C-17 like this one in front of Mt. Discovery.

To go from the airstrip to town you board a famous vehicle, Ivan The Terra Bus.

The company is called Terra, the name just came through the years.

Everyone loves this thing, there are even songs about around here.

There’s an even bigger vehicle that’s used to move people, but I don’t know what its called.

Its bizarrely big.

My friend Brian Roys and my brother in-law Matt Ziegler both pop in my mind every time I see these unique buses, fork lifts and other crazy contraptions.

You both would be in heaven driving and tinkering with these things.

The best I can do it document these huge Tonka toys for you guys.

Every vehicle is 50% larger than the normal world and lots of them have tracks like a tank.

Not sure what the story is with the student driver sign on this Piston Bully.

But the test must be wild.

Another cool aspect of McMurdo are the helicopters buzzing all around.

The landing pad is just downhill from the dorm I’ve been living in.

My travels around Antarctica are going to be based around planes.

C 17’s, C 130’, Basslers and Twin Otters will be my chariots.

But much of the science and functional day travel around the McMurdo area is done on the helicopters.

I wandered down to the heli-pad to get some pictures from behind the NO ENTRY SIGN .

Then one of the pilots was cool enough to show me around to get some closer pictures.

He even took a great photo too.

The buildings in themselves are pretty utilitarian in nature.

They are unique though, with the extreme weathering and the distinct McMurdo-ness.

The inside is often much nicer than the outside.

For example this is a really cool coffee shop, while it looks like a hunting camp from the outside.

The medical clinic is pretty unique looking.

I luckily haven’t had to go inside, but I’m sure it’s more impressive in there.

 

Attached to the clinic is a creepy door that stores the supplies for a mass casualty.

Let’s hope none of us have to find out what’s inside it.

I went out on the sea ice a few times for snowmobile training.

One day there was what is called Fata Morgana , which is an illusion.

It’s likened to the mirage when you see the road bending in the heat.

It was pretty bizarre looking as you can see.

There are obviously notreally zig zags in the cliffs.

To optimize our waste removal the entire program is based in very elaborate recycling.

There are bins divided for every possible subsection of waste, pretty cool.

Bamboo stakes with flags are used to mark virtually anything of importance out on the ice.

Road directions, unsafe spots, “don’t melt that ice for drinking water because that’s where we pee”.

You know, stuff like that.

Sometimes they just add Antarctic flare to the landscape.

I’m not aware that many of the roads around town have official names.

This road runs along past the main scientific labs.

Remember Beeker, the Muppet scientist’s apprentice.

That is the cute name the employees have for the science grantees.

The station is full of little unique quirks.

Like this metal troll that lives under one of the bridges.

Inside the Berg Field Center is a huge Scrabble board painted on the floor.

The other day there was a need to get rid of some old frozen donuts.

So, instead of tossing them in the garbage we threw a donut party.

There was donut checkers, donut jousting, donut corn hole and donut shuffle board.

And finally a couple pictures of my day to day job.

Lately I have been gathering all of the supplies for the field camps.

I have to enter them into the cargo system so they get sent to the South Pole and the correct field camps.

This is the inside of the Science Cargo building.

The other night my science group and I stayed up late into the night packing and moving cargo.

The lighting was great.

Like always Mt. Discovery was looming in the background.

So, there you go.

That’s McMurdo.

I’m leaving in the morning and won’t see this place for a couple months.

Off to more southerly and whiter pastures.

Wish me luck.

Honestly, wish the scientists luck…


To Life!

 

6 comments
LorrieW
LorrieW

Thank you so much for the blog here. I am a friend of David McGaw who is there with you.  He sent me your blog address so I could a sense of what he is doing there.  Please give him my best.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you there on the Pole. We miss you here!!

 

Lorrie Wilkes from Norwich VT

Randy Metzner
Randy Metzner

This stuff is way too cool! Makes me want to be there with you, thank you so-so much for allowing us the opportunity to watch this amazing adventure. Stay safe, I can only amagine how dangerous the conditions are going to be, but from where I am looking, you appear to be tuff enough to "get er done".

Your signature sign off, To Life! says it all, Buddy you are experiencing Life to it's max!! I will keep on watching, Happy Thanksgiving and there will be a special prayer at our table for you and your crew. Take care of that bald ass Bucket Head and return home safe.

JohnVSimpson
JohnVSimpson

Love you buddy..stay warm...have great adventures...come home.

Glacier Explorer
Glacier Explorer moderator

 @LorrieW Lorrie, thanks for commenting on the site.  I hope you enjoyed the posts and pictures.  I'll pass your comment on to David.  He is doing great and having fun.  I'll keep an eye on him for you to make sure he comes back safely.  Have a nice holiday, Marc

Glacier Explorer
Glacier Explorer moderator

 @Randy Metzner Glad you are enjoying the blog.  Thanks for commenting. Its great to get feedback.  I'll keep writing if you keep reading.  As for safety, I'm with some really experienced people which I'm lucky for.  This place continues to blow my mind.  We should be headed into the field on Monday, so I get to enjoy Thanksgiving at the South Pole station.  Plenty to be thankful for.  Hi to Donna and family for me.  Happy Thanksgiving my friend! 

Glacier Explorer
Glacier Explorer moderator

 @JohnVSimpson John, I'll be sure to stay safe.  Thanks for all the support my friend.  Have a great Turkey Day!