Position Date: 2012-12-20 03:40:04
Position Lat: -79.7603
Position Long: -82.8561
Listen to Eric's latest audio update.
Despite my earlier update to the contrary, I am still in Union Glacier. I was scheduled to fly out first thing this morning but a low fog rolled in from the North limiting visibility to just one hundred meters or so meaning it would be impossible for the Twin Otter to fly. Needless to say, I have spent the day in camp wishing I was out on the ice - moving. (Image: Yours truly waiting out the whiteout).
Yesterday, moving was the only thing that seemed to ease my mind. The stress of organizing, planning and preparing for this trip had reached a peak, and given the option, I may have pulled the plug then and there. It would be one thing simply skiing to the pole (something I have done several times) but biking nearly 750 miles involves so many more variables. No one has done this before.
In between weather checks, I managed to curl up on the floor for a short nap. I woke several times during dreams that were so realistic, Merritt as a much older toddler, racing fat bikes during the Arrowhead 135 and some weird scenario involving a series of psychological tests... Clearly I was feeling anxious.
Yesterday was one of the lowest days I've had in quite some time. It was only when I loaded up my bike and went for a short ride, that I began to relax. 'What am I doing here.' I thought to myself over and over. Self doubt is my most enduring expedition partner.
I awoke feeling somewhat relieved. The weather was still overcast but for the first time in almost three months I felt like I could actually manage the stress. Sure there were a bunch of unknowns ahead, but I have felt that pang of uncertainty many times before. It may seem scary but the trick is to accept risk and rely on experience. It felt good to come to terms with what might happen out there. Success or failure - that is irrelevant my goal now is to try. (View current position by clicking on map)
I realized I would need a few last minute modifications to my gear before heading out. First and foremost, I tied lanyards to my ThermaRest, shovel and sleeping bag so they wouldn't fall off my custom A-Train Cycles Rack. The wind here can be brutal on a good day, so keeping track of this equipment is critical to my survival here.
I also practiced packing and replacing my Granite Gear panniers. I want to make sure I have systems down to be efficient and safe. If I can save just a few minutes a day packing gear, that will greatly increase my chances of success.
Like so many other times, the bad often accompanies the good. My day yesterday was one of the worst I've had in a long, long time. Far away from Maria and Merritt with nothing but snow, ice and my own thoughts I wondered how I would make it through the next day. Now with my Moonlander totally dialed and all my gear loaded into Ergodyne duffels ready to be loaded, the outlook doesn't seem quite as bleak.
Funny this mind of mine. It can move mountains or stop me in my tracks. But just knowing that seems to provide, at least for now, a little bit of comfort.