My Last 72 Hours of 24/7 Sun

And now it begins... my departure from Pole. As I'm packing my bags I'm unpacking all the things I have learned and witnessed over the last 9 months. The faces I have grown to know day in and day out are soon to be just memories. Goodbye my 46 Polie brothers and sisters, I hope the food was good enough for ya. Words won't really explain what I feel right now, so I'll just pack my bags and get a move on. Change is good.

Oh Alaska, you are felt even way down here.

Our population is now at 92 and in the next day or two the big Hercs and C-17s fly in with tons of gas, cargo and people. I'm on the first flight out. Sad, but exciting, and at the same time really awesome. The transition to mainbody summer includes a huge population increase as well as the creation of giant mountains of snow for people to ski and sled down.

On my way to work at 3 AM.

A couple days ago we had our Antarctic Winterover Medal ceremony.

The summer station manager, Mr. Lewis and I, Bon Cody.

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That each person who serves, or has served, as a member of a United States expedition to Antarctica between January 1, 1946, and a date to be subsequently established by the Secretary of Defense shall be presented a medal with accompanying ribbons and appurtenances, under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of Departments under whose cognizanze the expedition falls, such regulations to be subject to the approval of the Secretary of Defense...

The ribbon of the Antarctica Service Medal is elaborate in its symbology. The outer bands of black and dark blue comprise five-twelfths of the ribbon's width, representing five months of antarctic darkness; the center portion, by its size and colors - grading from medium blue through light blue and pale blue to white - symbolizes seven months of solar illumination, and also the aurora australis.

Although the former rigors and dangers of antarctic exploration have largely been banished by technology, the words on the reverse of this medal are yet a wise injunction to those who go to the Antarctic: COURAGE - SACRAFICE - DEVOTION. "

Been there, done that, saw green clouds, got a medal and am going to Panama to learn how to surf. Simple as that.

Tasty blueberry muffins.

Fresh papayas.

And fresh kiwis and apples. Their vitamin C is very welcome given that with the new faces comes the crud and coughs. This is only a taste of the real world... soon I will be there.

So cheers to my departure with a glass of morning ginger tea and the volunteer Ford hat.