We arrived at the CDC at 2:15 a.m. as scheduled, dressed in our ECW, went through security and waited for the plane. At 5:00 a.m. they allowed us to pile onto a bus, which drove us out to the C-17. We packed ourselves in and waited for the plane to take off.

And we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After 6:00 a.m. we were put back on the bus, shuttled back to the CDC and asked to wait. The plane was broken. They would know soon if we were going to go at all. So we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

At 8:30 a.m. we were told that the plane was definitely broken, and to come back tomorrow. So we left, a bit disappointed, but Byron and Breana were hopeful that they would have their luggage by December 30th. As we arrived at the hotel, the manager greeted us by shouting, “No! No! You’re all going back! If you’re not there in 10 minutes the plane leaves without you!” After much confusion we all pile back into the shuttle, desperate not to miss our flight. We returned to the CDC, dressed as quickly as possible, shoved things into our bags, and went through security a second time. Breana spotted her bag in a pile of things delivered from Qantas that afternoon. Byron was not so lucky.

We were on the plane and into the air within an hour. Five hours later, we were in McMurdo. From the ice runway we ride in a giant bus to McMurdo. The bus is called Ivan the Terra Bus, and it’s a large tire vehicle specifically for shuttling people to and from the runway on the ice road. Tracked vehicles are much more suitable for ice roads, but the terra bus has such large tires that it compensates for the weight of the vehicle. Unfortunately, Ivan is incredibly slow (joggers passed us!!) and it seems to take forever to get to McMurdo.

Here are Byron, Diana and Ed on the terra bus, happy to be in MacTown but also really, really tired. Here’s to an awesome season!!! Go Wormherders!

Byron, Diana and Ed on Ivan the Terra Bus

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