We catch a early flight to Union Glacier the weather is for the first time turning bad. When we land at union glacier in a complete white out we see the ground just before our skis hit the ground. We are met with a hot meal, ribs vegetables and desert in a heated dinner tent. We eat, and wait for 5pm where they turn on hot water and we get out of the clothes we have been in for the past week and take a hot shower. We also check into the hotel tents unheated double wall tent with 2 cots pure luxury. The temps here are a balmy -14 and we hang out in a dining tent with unlimited coffee and 3 hot meals, they have movies and lectures on the early explorers.
Union Glacier and dinner tent JB giving origami Penguin lessons.
We speak with others as they arrive from various expeditions. The weather now is completely fogged in and all flights are canceled, the few teams up the mountain will remain there until better flying conditions. The original plan was to depart for Chile on the 20th but since the majority of the teams are in they change and we depart two days early.
Load master on return flight on the Ilyushin
I meet another father and son team from morehead KY. They like us got up and down quickly and are on the early flight out. We board the Ilusian and our adventure is over.
This is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The vastness, the lack of people, animals, or any signs of humans, makes you feel so isolated. Not a bad feeling, the noise of every day life numbs our senses and the void of that noise is refreshing. When I return to the noise I will appreciate it as I do the silence now.
I reflect on the return trip home of my experience as my new friends start to leave, I will have more time alone and absorb, evaluate, and document what I have been through. Same process I use with every mountain or new experience. If you don’t take the time to look back and write it down, you could miss something or at my age, forget it happened. I also take time to look forward at my short term and long term goals, big events sometimes change them so it is important that I reevaluate and sometimes will make a change in course. As the clock ticks I value every second and don’t want to waste it.
It is Sunday when we arrive back in Punta Arenas I have told people that a mountain is one of the most holiest place I have ever been. So as I reintroduce myself to food, heat, people, noise I go to a cathedral to thank God for this experience and for letting me see another one of His incredible creations. Then coming home safely to try to tell my family and friends what I have seen.
Lesson to grandkids:
Get out of the noise. In the quiet you can hear your real thoughts and find direction. Prayer and meditation are necessary to dealing with the noise.
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