Day 25: The vision must be kept
ay and I were on our way by 7:30 am, and to our delight we could actually see where we were going. No more white out. The cloud cover was just starting to lift and break up, and ahead on the horizon to the south were several gaps in the clouds with a pale blue sky beckoning to us and giving us an easy target to steer by.
A mushroom sastrugi and another blue glow, but not as distinct this time. I came to refer these mushroom sastrugis as "Ducks" because of the bill on the windward end.
We found the going a bit easier today. Not that the sastrugi was any less, but because we could pick our way through it and avoid the giant heaps and pits.
The person leading constantly scans the snowy surface ahead and chooses the best way: left here around that mound, a bit right here so as to ski over this smooth street, and so on.
We're headed for our mid-point resupply at the Thiels mountains. That looks like them ahead, but I think the light is playing tricks, bending the light and lifting the mountains above the horizon before their time. We are still seven days away, and in retrospect, we won't see them again for another three days.
By early afternoon we had patches of blue overhead, and for the first time in several days, sunshine. Also for the first time we had stratocumulus clouds, rather than the usual streaky cirrus.
"The vision must be kept, for it does not shine brightly by itself."
At one of our brief rest stops, Ray told me about a climbing film he watched several dozen times in Yosemite. His favorite line from the film went something like this: "The vision must be kept, for it does not shine brightly by itself." This certainly is true with any endeavor, but especially for us here in Antarctica, as we slowly make our way to the pole.
Tired but still smiling.
Another milestone today: we crossed the 84th parallel.
Evening camp: S 84° 06.688' W 84° 20.404'
Today's mileage: 12.9
Altitude: 4902 ft.