Sounds like a plan.

Depart: Pegasus Ice Runway, Antarctica ~ February 25, 2006
Arrive: Boulder, Colorado - May 27, 2006

Sunday, January 29, 2006

How does this idea sound?

Arrive in Christchurch March 1st, travel around New Zealand for a month or so. Reticket to pass through Sydney with a month or two layover on the way back to the states. Visit the coast of Austrailia a little bit, but then catch a flight to Beijing or Hong Kong. From there, take the Trans-Mongolian branch of the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Ulaan Baantor. Travel around Mongolia a bit, return to Sydney by rail and airplane as before, catch plane to states, head back east, then back west...

Friday, January 27, 2006

A couple pictures of Fiordland, where I'm heading first in New Zealand:

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Realized today that over the last 3 years I've slept in something like 250-300 different places, think that might be why it seems so weird to stay within a 10 mile radius of McMurdo for 4 months so far (one exception - I went out to Darwin Glacier for a day, which is something like 150 miles from here, but was back around dinnertime.)

The New Zealand trip is about as planned out as I'm expecting it to be before I get back there, all that remains is figuring out what's going to happen with this fuelie party and where/when I'll meet up with Goldberry. Might also be a friend or two from the ice or other places joining in as well. In any case, I'd rather be a bit spontaneous and not plan out too much stuff in advance since it's a rather civilized country with lots and lots of interesting options for things to do - why plan? Think this travelling thing is a chronic affliction though, so I've been playing the "what's next?" game in my head lately.

Got an email from my friend Morph the other day that touched on a trip we discussed a little bit about a year ago. The basic idea was to paddle from somewhere on the Peace River to the Slave River, through Great Slave Lake, to the Mackenzie River, then from there to the Beaufort Sea, which is part of the Arctic Ocean. Of course, the trip goes through the middle of nowhere and ends up above the arcic circle, so you still have to get back to civilization! We'd end up near the town of Inuvik, from whence we could head back to civilization by way of the Dempster Highway. It would be a rather long paddling trip through some really remote country, but sounds like a nifty adventure to me! One of the really cool parts is that, unlike dozens of other trips I'd like to go on, I don't think it would conflict with going to school schedule wise. It's fun to daydream!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Not a lot of new concrete information, but it's looking like my redeployment date from the ice will be right around March first. Of course, that's highly subject to change and I could just as easily be heading back a week before I was originally supposed to (2/25.) The big issues right now are that the fuel tanker and cargo ship still haven't been able to make it into McMurdo (by now the tanker should have been offloaded and the cargo ship should have been getting just about done) because the icebreaker has a broken prop. Sounds like the breaker should be fixed by the end of the week, then either the cargo ship or the tanker will follow (the ordering seems to change about every 2 days.)

Been looking through travel books, talking with people who've been 'there,' daydreaming, etc. Not sure how much bike touring I'll be doing in the first part of the adventure, the current plan seems to be leaning towards backpacking/riding busses/hithhiking/working on farms and such. Also thinking about hopping over to Austrailia for a little bit before heading back to the states. With the way that my travel stuff works, I should be able to reticket to go through Sydney on the way back for something on the order of $30, so might as well do that and at least spend a few days in a different country. One of my good friends from work highly recommends going there and working out a way to get to the interior of the country for a little bit. Sounds a little more desert-y than my tastes usually swing, but I suppose there's a first time for everything!

Either way, it's going to be good times. Can't wait to see some new places!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Yeah, I'm not getting out of here on schedule. The ice breaker broke, which has forced some delays with other ships. Still not sure exactly what the impact is going to be, but the current thought seems to be that the tanker's not going to be getting in for another 4 weeks or so. Life down here is a lot of things, boring generally isn't one of them!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Guess that sounded too much like a plan. Sounds like South Pole's season will get extended out a bit, which means that most of us fuelies (as well as ANG (Air National Guard)/AGE (Aircraft Ground Equipment)/cargo (they move things) people) will end up staying here until the new last flight out, which is now supposed to be March 1st. That obviously conflicts with the planned fuelie party at Motueka where I was going to meet up with Goldberry, not sure what will end up happening with that. The fuel tanker is also delayed a bit, offload was supposed to begin three days ago, but it's still a good ways out. Think the current idea is that it'll get here sometime in the middle of this week, hopefully that won't lead to too much chaos down the road. We'll see what happens!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Suppose it's time to get this thing started

Hey everybody! My name is Ian (aka Skittles) and this is yet another online journal. Right now, I'm sitting in a computer kiosk in Building 155, McMurdo Station, Antarctica waiting for some laundry to get done, so this isn't going to be a terribly in depth post most likely. How I got here is a very long, convoluted story, but fortunately the main parts over the last year or so are covered here (Antarctica Journal) and here (Colorado Trail journal). Once the work contract here in Antarctica is up, I'll be flying to Christchurch, NZ then spending a month or two traveling around New Zealand before heading home (or at least where my stuff is - Boulder, CO) by way of Auckland, Los Angeles, then Denver. The current plan involves a brief stop in Denver to drop off bags and such, then heading back to the airport to hop east a bit to visit with friends and family, then head to Traildays and whatever project Hardcore has in store for next spring.

So, this journal is going to cover the traveling in New Zealand part of the Grand Plan (tm,) as well as the preperations for it.

At this point, the plan is to get to Christchurch on or near February 25th, then head up to my friend Bodie's parents' house near Motueka for a fuelie (that's the hat I wear here on the ice) party. If things go as currently planned, I'll meet up there with my friend Goldberry from the Appalachian Trail and whoever else is interested in going, then most likely head south to Fijordland and get moving! Not sure what'll come after that, but the general plan is to travel around New Zealand and see as much as possible while spending as little money as possible. Shouldn't be too hard, we've each got a bit of experience with traveling cheap and are not opposed to working along the way (I actually kind of like the idea.) Figure the AT cost about $3,000USD (that includes new england ;) ) and took about 6 months, think I can pull off a comparable rate down here with a few exceptions like maybe giving skydiving a shot. Depending on how things play out I might go a little more plush, but definitely not staying in B&Bs and eating out every night. The main modes of transportation will likely be backpacking, hitchhiking, bike touring, and maybe buying an old beater of a car and driving. Gear wise, I'm set for doing whatever - brought a touring bike setup and some backpacking stuff as far south as Christchurch and will be picking it up on arrival in town. Hoping to get in plenty off the beaten path style traveling and also spending enough time in certain areas to get a real feeling for what it's like to live there - I like to spend more time experiencing places than just moving through them. However things work out, I'm sure it'll be a fun adventure, and hopefully some of that fun will contaminate this blog. So, that's all for now. Will post more when there's more to post!