Our quiet, steady companions ready to go.

by Tyler Fish

Well today we made a new distance record for ten hours of travel, 11.2 nautical miles. John and I are very pleased. What do we think about while we're skiing? That must be a question on people's minds. Well, I'm going to try to explain.

It depends a little bit on whether or not you are leading or following. The leader thinks about being out ahead.  Where are we going? What are the obstacles?  Are there any leads to cross?  Are there ridges?  Where are we going to go over those?  What's the easiest path? Where is my expedition partner behind me?  How far?  That sort of thing.

The follower has a little bit less to think about and can get caught up more in: How's the snow?  This is great skiing.  Oh, this is kind of crusty. I'm just going to sink through this a little bit. That sort of thing. Either way, if the terrain is easy or has a good rhythm to it, either skier can really get into it. And what I mean by that is you can get into a meditation in motion. You just ski. You go. And you just, you're going and going and you're thinking while you're going and you sort of lose time, which is my favorite way to meditate.  If I were to sit and to meditate likely I would just fall asleep. But the meditation in motion is awesome.  And your mind wanders all over the place. Yes to friends and family, to the past, to the future but also you could think about the present for a long time.

Today when I was skiing, meditating in motion, I got fixated on the white splatters on my skis and finally I realized that those splatters are from my dripping nose, which drips most of the time.  And when the ski passes under it, sometimes it catches a drip.

Well eventually we do stop and the two of us take a break together.  And now the weather and the terrain are such that John and I can sit together for 5 or 10 minutes during our breaks and sit and stare into the warm sun and share our thoughts that we had or maybe thoughts about our expedition and planning things a little bit.  And increasingly we talk about food.  What we want to eat, when we want to eat it, how much of it.  The quote from today was, John said, "I wonder how long I'm going to want to eat everything I see?" Good question. And onward we go.

Daily Expedition Data
Date: April 7, 2009
Location: N86° 41.729' W075 00.544'
Time Traveled: 10 hours
Distance Traveled: 11.2 nautical miles
AM Temperature: -26°F
PM Temperature: -20°F
clear, some haze on all horizons, S/SE breeze picked up
198 nautical miles to North Pole