One day in January 2012 I was on my own in the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park, about a four hour drive from my home in Missoula, Montana, watching wolves. The temperature was -20F. Two weeks later I was in the Antarctic, where it was never less than 50 degrees warmer. Go figure.
Traveling from Missoula is seldom easy. The voyage to the Antarctic began with four flights, to Minneapolis, Atlanta, Buenos Aires and, finally, Ushuaia. Although there is some dispute about this, Ushuaia is generally considered to be the southernmost city in the world. It is situated on the Beagle Channel, named for the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin's famous research vessel.