Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Part 2

Not all struggles can be described in full just by recounting the events. This last day was one of those days. Iʼve deliberated at how to complete this story over the last few days, and have had a great deal of trouble figuring it out. Iʼm still not sure that Iʼve
found the best way to convey the feeling of both desperation and determination that all
of us were going through that morning as we left the last camp amid waist deep snow.
At a certain point, I was acting outside myself, with my self consciousness confined to
the hood of my parka. As nice as it was to be on autopilot, at the same time the danger
of falling into a complacent pace was more than just possible, it was our greatest
enemy. Breaks dragged on, snow still fell. Finally as darkness began to fall, we passed
the final descent to the sea ice and made it to open sea ice. Only 21 miles stood before
us, and for a moment we almost felt we were home. The Sea Ice was slow, and the
blizzard obstructed our view of the city lights. Flickering in the distance, just barely in
visible range, a single light occasionally broke through the storm to guide us home. All
it takes sometimes is a single light to remind you that you arenʼt alone. That there is
someone out there waiting for your arrival, standing and looking into the windswept
darkness waiting for you, silently rooting you on. As hard as those final miles were, they
were impossible to give up on. Our beacon in the dark led us to the waiting friends and
families. They stood in the bitter cold, in the whipping wind and welcomed us home. At
midnight, on the final day, we had finally overcome our greatest challengers, ourselves.

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