Well, it's been a great visit, but it's time to go. With tears in my eyes I bid farewell to the South Pole. It has been a wonderful, curious, exciting, and rewarding time. I have enjoyed everything from the constant daylight to the cold, cold ice tunnels. I adored the friends I've made at the pole, they are all special, unique, smart, and uplifting. I understand completely why they choose to return to the "harsh continent"--it's as much for the glory of surviving South Pole as it is for enjoying time with a second polar family and then again its about being part of science at the Pole.

IceCube's whole gang.
IceCube's whole gang.

I am sorry to leave my IceTop team especially. To James, Tom, Chris and Bakhtiyar, thank you guys so much for your help, support, and laughter. I hope you get some Kazak/Turkish/Delewarian home cooking soon guys and I look forward to our grand reunion over crabs in MD in the summer.

Our IceTop team poses for one last picture.
Our IceTop team poses for one last picture. (L to R: James Tom, Bakhtiyar, Katey, Chris.)

I flew out with Alan, the head of drilling. He's been to Antarctica over a dozen times with the United States Antarctic Program and with the Australian program. He helped off the ice right when I thought I would be content just staying there for a few more weeks.

This bird flew in to carry us out.
This bird flew in to carry us out.

I was sad to leave the pole, I had really gotten used to the place. The cold was bad on the day we left with 20 knot winds and biting ice flying around. In the end we boarded our plane and headed for the coast.

Hercules.
Hercules.

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