Tyler reads notes that friends wrote on his sleeping pad.

by Tyler Fish

Many people think that an expedition whether in the wilderness or out on the Arctic Ocean or in the desert somewhere that it's about severing connections, that it's about getting away from people, that it's about doing something dangerous, and escaping society. Well, this can be true from time to time; actually, I think that people often go on expeditions in order to make connections. For example, John and I are certainly connecting, getting to know each other in ways that we haven't before as we're spending a lot of time in a tent together or on the ice together. Family and friends are also connecting with us; they're following us, learning about us.

Friends got together and decided to have a North Pole Solidarity Day and sent letters along and we would all read them a number of days ago now. Well, friends, actually we did not read them all that day and instead have been saving them and reading them bit by bit for inspiration. So there are a great many people that are a part of this expedition. Also, all the sponsors, we're connected with them, and all the way to the barber who gave me a little scissors to trim my facial hair for the trip.

And old friends have found me. One old friend contacted me and asked me if I could put a nine-year-old's name on my ski. His name is Mason and he is fighting for his life and using CaringBridge, and so since we are supporting CaringBridge, my friend thought that I could put his name on my ski. So I do, and I decided if this nine-year-old can do this, then I can certainly ski all day through the cold with the wind on my left side.

I also decided that my other ski needed a name, so I thought of a man named Jim who I met and who listens to me about this expedition and helped us make some connections. So I put his name on my other ski, the left ski. So I can think of Jim and the link that I followed from his CaringBridge site about, it was a journal entry that he wrote about a very special day on a bike ride that he had. And I think of that bike ride and what he said about that bike ride as I'm skiing along and it motivates me. So there are lot connections being made and the more connections, the more the expedition means. The more powerful it is and the better it is.

Daily Expedition Data
Date: March 24, 2009
Location: N84° 39.114' W074 35.147'
Time Traveled: 8 hours
Distance Traveled: 6.5 nautical miles
AM Temperature: -34°F
PM Temperature: -24°F
stiff 10knot SW wind, overcast
321 nautical miles to the North Pole