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Travel Articles: Adventure Life
Cerro Aconcagua: Defining Grandeur
Heading west on Ruta 7, we drove out of the pampas and vineyards of Mendoza and into the mountains. We passed the last vineyard and then entered a stunning red, orange and yellow limestone canyon. The Rio Mendoza, nearly completely dry at this time of year, snakes it's way through the narrow valley. We first stopped to see the "Arenas Amarillos", …
Save Money on Lipstick, Drink Malbec: The Beautiful Wine Country of Mendoza
Our first day on our Mendoza tour has been nothing short of perfect - we cooked a meal in a busy Argentine kitchen, toured the largest family winery in the country, mailed 3 cases of wine back to the US and ate more meat than I feel comfortable admitting.
There is a surprising abundance of trees, flowering bushes, tall grasses and expansive lush …
Off to Argentina!
Today's the day! South America adventure take 2. There are five flights between Missoula and our first destination - Mendoza, Argentina. This is the second time my Mom and I have attempted this Argentina & Uruguay trip. Last year, we made it as far as Los Angeles, where I burst an eardrum on the final domestic flight. But never fear! We're …
Antarctica Travel Blog Dec 3 and Dec 4: Wildlife of Macquarie Island
December 3, 2011
We arrived at Macquarie Island about 7am. The sea was calm and the weather was foggy with light mist. We were met by park rangers from the ANARE station for a walk around the Isthmus. The Isthmus was teaming with wildlife including huge male elephant seals, king penguins and rock hoppers. We spent about 2.5 hours on the Isthmus …
Antarctica Travel Blog Dec 1 and Dec 2: Cruising North to Macquarie Island
December 1, 2011 and December 2, 2011
The days were spent cruising north to Macquarie Island. The time was spent attending lectures, cleaning our gear for our anticipated visit to Macquarie Island. The sea was rough with swells up to 20 -22 feet which was enough to cause some passengers to stay in their cabins. Other passengers boldly ventured …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 27 thru Nov 30: Ross Ice Shelf and Kapitan Klebnikov Final Days in the Ross Sea
November 27, 2011
The Ross Ice Shelf came into view about noon. Size of France and is about 600 miles The vastness cannot be captured in with any lens. The icy cold winds coming off the shelf stirred my imagination about the explorers that had to tackle this massive piece of ice before beginning their journey to the south pole.
November 28th, …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 26: At Last, Cape Evans and the Stunning Mount Erebus
November 26th, 2011
Much to our surprise, the winds increased to 44 knots which again prevented the helicopters from flying to Ross Island for sightseeing. The expedition leader gave up on the weather and decided we should head north, approximately 140 miles northeast to the Ross ice Shelf. Then, as soon as ship started backing up, the wind speed …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov. 25: Whiteouts and the Solar Eclipse
November 25, 2011
Our plans for visiting McMurdo and Ross Stations, Scott's Discovery hut at Cape Evans and hiking Observation Hill were delayed by the weather. Here in Antarctica, "weather is our master", our expedition leader, Shane Envoy, has reminded us many times. Whiteout conditions and 40 knot winds lasted throughout the day with …
Happy Thanksgiving from Antarctica!
November 24, 2011
Our visit to the Adelie Penguin Colony was cut short by white conditions with 40 knots per hour winds. All passengers were on the island which was a ten minute helicopter ride from the icebreaker. After one hour on shore, the wind and snow flurries increased until the icebreaker was no longer visible from shore. By that time, we …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 23: Visiting the Hut of the Doomed 1912 Expedition of Robert Falcon Scott
NOVEMBER 23, 2011
During the early morning the captain moved the ship south toward Cape Evans on Ross Island. The ship was at its furthest point south on this expedition. Temperature was minus 4 degree C, with wind making it a bit chilly, but the sky was mostly blue. It was a perfect day for our flight to Cape Evans to visit Robert Falcon Scott's …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 22: Penguins and Preparing for McMurdo Dry Valleys
November 22, 2011
Last evening, we headed toward an area further close to Taylor Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in hope to make a helicopter operation. About 2am the Kapitan Khlebnikov's engines were shut down as the captain could not get the ship closer to the valley due to the thick ice. The goal was to park as close to Taylor Valley as …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov. 21: Shackelton Hut from Nimrod Expedition 1907-1909
November 21, 2011
Shackleton's Nimrod Hut, Lat. 77 33 South. Long 166 67 E
Last night, we left Franklin Island about 10 pm and continued our journey south to McMurdo Sound. Mt Erbus came into view during early afternoon. What a lovely sight as we cruised along side Ross Island. The ice was amazingly thin for this time of year which allowed the …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov. 20: The best way through ice is around ice . . .
NOVEMBER 20, 2011
Again we were reminded of the old Russian saying "the best way though ice is around ice." The day was spent weaving in and out of ice through the patches of sea ice. Cape Washington was no longer in reach due to the ice conditions but we did make it to a wonderful emperor penguin rookery on Franklin Island. The lighting was …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 19: 115 Miles from the Antarctic Peninsula
November 19th, 2011
We spent the day heading toward Cape Washington or Coulman Island to visit emperor Penguins. The currents and wind changes throughout the day causing the ice to change directions. The sky is overcast and colder than the previous day. We spent the day watching the penguins scurry from the ship as it powered through the …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 18: Alone in the Ross Sea
NOVEMBER 18TH, 2011 -- 7PM
Tomorrow will be another day of crushing ice as Coulman Island is still 170 miles away. Due to the large ice floes and sea currents, we have traveled only half as far as yesterday. Now we are heading in a southeasterly direction because that is where the lightest ice is taking us. Ice charts are not always accurate so …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 17: Crossing the Antarctic Circle and Readying the Helicopters
November 17th, 2011 -- 9:00 am
Yesterday we entered the pack ice about 8pm. The light was incredible as we photographed the snow petrels and Antarctic Terns fly among the pancake ice. The view from the fly bridge was surreal. Several times I had to stop taking photographs just to admire ice and the sunset. No image, no matter the number of pixels …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 16th: Iceberg Challenge!
November 16th -- 6:15 am
The view from the bridge was of calm sea with light visibility of about 300 meter. At times there is light snow. The wind makes the air almost too cold to leave the porthole open in my cabin. Sailing through the shrieking 60s now we begin our look out for icebergs. The expedition leader, Mike Messiok, gave us a challenge …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 15: Calm seas in the Southern Ocean
NOVEMBER 15TH TUESDAY -- SOUTHERN OCEAN 7AM
Last night we were warned to expect the worst and to secure our items in our cabins. Surprisingly, most of us, I believe, slept well through the night to awake to very calm seas. The Southern Ocean has been flat like a lake nearly all day. We are ahead of schedule and should be in the pack ice by …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 14: Courtship of Southern Royal Albatrosses on Campbell Island
Monday - Nov. 14, 2011
This morning we arrived at Perseverance Harbor, Campbell Island about 8am. Wind was 30 knots and temperature about 40 F degrees. The 100 passengers were divided into several groups by ability: ie. fast to slow walkers. The goal was to complete the 2.5 mile walk with 811 feet elevation gain to the top of the island to view …
Antarctica Travel Blog Nov 11: Preventing Pathogens, Welcome Cocktails and Meeting the Captain
Friday - Nov. 11, 2011
This afternoon we conducted bio security which entailed of vacuuming out our personal backpacks and outer gear to prevent pathogens from being introduced into the delicate environment of the Subantarctic Islands. Also, attendance of the zodiac briefing was required to ensure everyone's personal safety.
Pete McClelland from …
Laurie Allread Antarctica Travel Blog: Anticipation in Christchurch, NZ
Tuesday - November 8, 2011:
Anticipation is increasing. Tonight, I will meet the other travelers at a welcome dinner, then, in less than 36 hours, we will be on the Kapitan Khlebnikov departing Lyttelton. From my past Antarctica trips, I recall an exhilarating yet scary feeling watching the land become smaller and smaller and finally disappearing …
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