Ready for Summer

by John Huston

Hugh has reunited with his lovely family and the rest of us have departed Ottawa and are en route to ours. So the New Land 2013 team has parted ways for now.

We absolutely enjoyed our time together. The team vibe was totally awesome and we are super-thankful and appreciative of each other for that… we got along so well both socially and operationally.

Every day we laughed, joked around, ate well, solved problems, made decisions together, learned from each other, put up with each others’ idiosyncrasies, took care of each other, and worked to makes each others’ jobs easier. We had a few tough decisions and discussions to wade through out there, but that was expected, accepted, and never negative.

Yesterday afternoon Hugh’s family hosted a BBQ in his backyard for their friends and us. It was really fun to get together with the large Ottawa contingent that supported us in so many ways – from making us super-high calorie chocolate bars (630 kcal per 100 g), to helping locate the last few bits of equipment, to assisting with shuttling our massive pile of duffle bags all over the place.

The big feeling for us at the moment is the enjoyable mellow tiredness and detached mental slowness that comes at the end of a big expedition that exists parallel to the relatively noisy hubbub of normal day-to-day life. These past few days everything around us just seems to move faster than we are, it’s nice and relaxing in a way.

Kyle spent the last 48 hours backing up our over 50 hours of video and over 4000 photos onto various hard drives. Hats off to him for that and for deftly handling the filming duties – no easy task when it’s your first time on a polar trip and you are harnessed to a pulling machine named Axel. Kyle worked harder than any of us out there, was a quick study, and a pro behind the camera.

Shorts and t-shirts are a welcome change from our expedition garb, but we’re really not looking forward to the full heat of summer all that much, temperatures in the 60s and 70s (16° to 24° C) is plenty. Our bodies are calibrated to the cold, so hopefully spring stays around a bit longer.

More to come soon.