Chris and I spend hours running on the trails together. We use this time to discuss life, dreams, and what expedition tasks still need to be completed. Our main topic as we approach departure day, though, is how will it feel to leave our son at home as mom and dad head out on an expedition for about two months. We feel very fortunate that we’re a very close-knit family of three; we play games in the evening, enjoy dinner as a family, and love to explore and travel, and in general spend much of our time with each other. In some ways this will make it much more difficult to go on this expedition, but I also believe it will provide us with an inner source of strength.
We began discussing the possibility of a South Pole expedition over three years ago when Keenan was 9-years old. He turns 12 years old two days before we leave. Over the last three years he watched us plan, train, and sometimes agonize. He would ask questions, and a couple times said he didn’t want us to go. Over the last year, though, he’s been an enthusiastic supporter, maturing to a level that makes us swell with pride. He now focuses on following us on our journey as we strive to make our goal.
Our last few weeks before departure are spent making sure everything is as stable for Keenan as possible. While we are gone, he’ll stay at our home and a wonderful group of family and friends will rotate in and out of our house every 8-10 days to care for him. We think this will also be quite an adventure for him! Keenan’s school, St. Joseph, has displayed a large map of Antarctica on their bulletin board and he’ll mark our daily progress as the entire school follows along. We can’t thank them enough for the support they’ve shown all three of us.
Going on a South Pole expedition, even in 2013, is still unique and magical. Experiencing this adventure with my wife Chris feels like the adventure of a lifetime, and our son Keenan will be with us the entire journey.
Thank you to Thomas and Tina Sjogren for paving the way as the first married couple to ski to the South Pole. They were also self-guided, unassisted, and unsupported.