Blog

Audio Dispatch

This is another test dispatch … of the contact system via my blog I hope that this automatic update system works so everything will be fairly trouble free. when I am in antarctica I do not want to have to attempt to explain to someone how to fix this…

This is another test dispatch ... of the contact system via my blog I hope that this automatic update system works so everything will be fairly trouble free. when I am in antarctica I do not want to have to attempt to explain to someone how to fix this problem, I'm looking forward to good success on my expedition.

Audio Dispatch

This is a test dispatch from antarctica. I’m trying to get dispatches into my word press plug so they can be automatically posted I hope that this will work out okay and then I won’t have to do much of anything.

This is a test dispatch from antarctica. I'm trying to get dispatches into my word press plug so they can be automatically posted I hope that this will work out okay and then I won't have to do much of anything.

Video & still storage

I will be taking approximately 300 GB of data cards to capture images and video along the expedition. However, all of these storage devices only weigh l about an ounce and a quarter. As the two cameras I am taking use SD cards, I will have no problem carrying all that storage.

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That amount of storage Will allow me to capture up to 1,600 minutes of hi-def 1080p at 28MB a second. That level of video quality crushes my old MacBook Pro. I will have to get a much faster computer to edit this when I get home.

Plus, the media is quite tough so I don’t have to be too worried about it. My biggest risk is that they are very small and have to be careful with them.

It’s amazing that I can carry an entire hard drive that would be used in a laptop that can be balanced on a few fingers.

Packing the food

I am working on my final food preparations prior to shipment via air down to Chile. I am trying to figure out how to pack 90 days of food into the sled so I still have some room for something.

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90 bags is sure going to be a lot of space. Having everything pulverized & mashed into smaller space would definitely be better.
Also, I am trying to figure out why my bag of simulated food weighs way more than my food weight estimate. Either the packaging lies on some items or I miscalculated. I will figure this out quite immediately.

Towing in hail and lightning

Towing in hail and lightning was a good physical and mental exercise for the challenges I’m going to face down south.  I wasn’t too worried about the lightning, as I didn’t see any cloud to ground strikes.  However, with clouds just overhead, that can change in an instant.

 

I hid under a tree on the side of the road for a moment to grab my iPhone to get this little video clip when my boots almost took a little swim.  The heavier rain and hail above me on the hill began channeling down the side of the road, creating a mini-flash flood.  Nothing too severe, just something to get my footwear muddy.

When you spend time in the desert and you see storm clouds over the far-away mountains, you always keep watch because that moving water can come up on you in an instant.  This looked just like something out of the desert, minus the hail.

Add more rocks

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Since I had a short tow time today, I decided to add even more rocks. I loaded enough so that I was just able to flex my legs and move uphill. Then, once I made my hour 15 uphill, I loaded even more rocks to ensure that my downhill speed was just like going uphill.

I tested and figured out that I could actually crawl on my hands and knees and move quicker. And that was crawling backwards, too. The whole point of this exercise, besides the heavy workload on my legs and joints, is to prepare me for the psychology of feeling like I’m going nowhere fast.

When you are looking at an infinite plane of ice and blue sky, it is difficult to feel as though you’re making progress.

Until I begin passing mountains, it will feel like I’m going nowhere real fast. I need to be mentally prepared to deal with such circumstances. Adding incredible weight to the tire, up to 40 pounds of rocks, gives me that sensation.

I can stare at the trailhead for a good 15 minutes before I finally arrive. The final curve revealing the end is only 200 yards away. That really does do a number on your head.

That is exactly what I want.

Add rocks

To make towing up the mountain more difficult, I’ve added 8lbs of rocks to my tire. I was afraid it was getting too easy.

The rocks are a nice addition for the psychological component as well. The first time I had them in there, I wanted to throw in the towel. The drag force was strong enough that I could still flex my legs to pull, yet not so much that the only thing to do was to lean forward and hope it slid. It was just right.

These rocks allow me to regulate the difficulty both going uphill and downhill. I can make going downhill more difficult than having an empty tire going uphill.

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Gear donation

Thank you so much Cheryl H., of Fallbrook, CA.  Your massive donation of equipment to

Rite in the Rain
Rite in the Rain

this expedition takes a big chunk out of the remaining things I need to make sure I’m safe and have backup for all critical equipment.

Also, the Rite in the Rain journals and Space Pen refills will ensure I keep all of my records of the expedition, that way I don’t forget it and will be able to relate the stories back to the people at home.