by John Huston

This is John. I am going to talk about routines.  But first of all, we've learned that our friend, mentor, and Outward Bound colleague, Thor Pakosz, has been in a small plane accident and is in critical condition. He lives in northern Minnesota and we are thinking about him and sending him positive thoughts. And his family and friends have set up a CaringBridge page for Thor so that people can support him from all over. So if you want to check that out, if you know Thor, go right ahead.
So there's been a question on our website about our routines, so here is a short blog about how we go about every day. The alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. and we wake up, pull the sleeping bags out of the tent, start the stoves, and then take a few hours sometimes doing little projects, journaling or just relaxing a little bit, have breakfast. Tyler cooks breakfast.

Out of the tent around 8:15 or so and then depart on our nine-hour travel day at 9:00am. We travel in 90-minute to 120-minute sessions or marches. And then after 90 minutes or about two hours passes, we stop for a short 10 or 15 minute break to drink a whole bunch of water and eat as much food as possible in that short time before we start to freeze.

So during the ski day, John thinks about his girlfriend, thinks about avocados, and he thinks about how much he loves to ski, and his family, of course. Tyler, he thinks about a lot of things, but primarily Ethan, his lovely wife Sarah, he thinks about conversations he's had in the past, and he skies along singing, which is nice to hear coming down the trail.

We end the travel day around 6:00pm or 6:15pm or so depending on how long it takes to select a nice spot to set the tent. Then it takes us about 45 minutes to put up the tent, empty our sleds, cut snow for snow blocks to melt into water, and organize everything inside the tent. We get in the tent, light up the stoves, and then we have some heat, and we start to take off our boots, take off all our layers, and relax for a few minutes before cooking dinner. And then it's pretty much quickly off to bed after that with a few hot water bottles in our sleeping bags and about 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night. So we're normally in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 in the evening. Then the next day it's up at 5:00am.

So our work day is very similar to anybody else's work day or school day. And so while you folks are going through your daily routines, you can think about us here on the ice of the Arctic Ocean and we'll think about you back home because we have lots of time to think as we ski. Well, thanks for listening.

Daily Expedition Data
Date: March 19, 2009
Location: N84° 09.479' W074 21.600'
Time Traveled: 9 hours
Distance Traveled: 5.8 nautical miles
AM Temperature: -26°F
PM Temperature: -24°F