It’s Sunday, and what better way to spend a day off than to go for a little stroll. At -36F with winds gusting to 15 knots, I decided to bundle up a little, so I got into Monster Fleecy, my bib overalls, Big Red, my cozy hat, and my mittens. A walk down the hall to the Beer Can, down a few flights of stairs, and … outside ho!
First stop: The Geographical South Pole. The station is on a thick sheet of ice, and the ice is moving about 15 feet per year, so every year in January the actual point the earth spins around needs to be marked afresh. Every winter the shop here makes an elaborate marker for the summer re-survey. They started out as tame USGS survey markers, but the winters are long, and there is always spare time.
Second stop: The Ceremonial South Pole. This is the place with the candy-striped pole and the gazing ball on top, surrounded by 12 national flags. It’s flashier. There are no recognized territorial claims, so I’m not sure why these twelve countries got to have their flags here. I’ll ask.
A short walk back to Destination Alpha, one of the two main entry ways to the station, and I’m back to my home away from home.