Friday, May 16, 2008

Ben's Arrival - Trail Dispatch - 2008 Ellesmere Island Expedition

Expedition Day: 42 Distance traveled: rest dayFlying into Axel Heiberg to join the rest of the team, I could finally grasp the difficulties that they had been through over the last forty days. From the sky the ocean below looked impossibly confused and cluttered. Even from 5000 feet, the eye could not find the end of the rough ice. It was only as I aproached the rendezvous point that the ice finally seemed to relax. Finally joining the team, my fear that I would be an outsider was quickly disspelled as everyone welcomed me to camp with open arms and enormous smiles. Stories of polar bear encounters and hellish fields of rough ice and pressure ridges poured out of everyone, all while they dug into the snacks and treats I had brought in. The reunion was magnificent and could not have come at a better time, ahead of us the terrain is smooth, and a renewed sense of vigor permeates the weathered team members that I've been following for so long on the website. While I followed their progress, I also have been training so I wouldn't be left exhausted in the wake of these now thin and efficient people that have been running for nine hours a day for so many days on end. Of course what training could I possibly do that could prepare me for arctic travel at this level. I imagine the next few days will be hard on my body and my ego, but I'm also excited to get into the swing of things and finally feel like a full team member.
View the Global Warming 101 Ellesmere Island Expedition map and follow their progress.
Map updated daily with new position.
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