Expedition Report from William Cassidy

Dec. 2, 1998, Wednesday: PatriotHills Camp

Matt, Mike and Sib drove Nomad back to the runway. Most of the trip was out out of  visual line-of-sight of the ARLAN antenna at camp, so Sib had a fairly frustrating time of it, with his contact fading just when he thought it had been established. As a result, Matt had to operate the robot with a joystick from a few feet away. He worked out a comfortable arrangement by sitting astride the generator and letting Nomad take him to the airstrip. Pascal got a good photo of this.

The rest of the group packed our shipping crates and skidded them down to the airstrip, demounted some of the Expedition 25 tents and packed them in crates. The Endurance tent was partially cleared of electronic equipment, making room for two more people to sleep there, and some others doubled up in the remaining Expedition 25 tents. We made a cache of some items in the Chileans' snow cave. These are all things it would not pay to ship back but which we can use if we return next year; if we don't return they can be useful to the Chileans. We arranged to give our excess fuel to the Chileans; they will store it there for use next year. These final steps have created an air of expectation: we are thinking about returning to civilization, sleeping in beds, ordering food from a menu and, perhaps above all, seeing faces we have not already become overused to looking at day after day.