Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 26, 2013 -- And Then It Went Downhill

South 84º 33.423" West 080º 25.032" 18.8 miles

There is an elevation profile of the route in the dinner tent at base camp. It shows that at some point there is a good downhill. I was starting to wonder if I had already hit it and it just wasn't as big as I expected. But shortly after starting this morning I hit the downhill. It was great to get a break from all the climbing. Of course, I now have to climb it again, but it was a nice relief. Adding the last night and early morning miles in, I was thinking I might get a 30 mile day in. Then I saw the first person that I have seen in what seems like forever--or at least an arm. The arctic truck was headed back from its trip to the pole. They waved as they flew past. After the truck went by a [fog] moved in and I lost the ability to see anything. The easiest way to navigate was to follow the new path from the truck, but it had pulverized all the snow, making for bad biking conditions. Also, there was a bit of wind and it got really cold. I started adding layers to my body and hands but I just couldn't keep my fingers warm. I'm not going to let frostbite end my expedition, and I had all the miles I needed to get. So I ended early and failed to get the last five miles that I needed to get thirty. Oh well, twenty-five on the records worked and I had now traveled over 300 miles, which is the record for the most miles traveled by bike in Antarctica. It also means I can reach the halfway point on Saturday.

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