It's that time of year, time for us to stay making our ways through various airports to begin the journey south. And for me a very different experience than prior seasons.
This year I've passed up the homey comforts of Palmer Station for a job in the big city; I'm heading to McMurdo this year, along with about a thousand other people. And I've traded my wrenches and hammers for a keyboard; while I've spent three seasons as a mechanic, my actual career is in IT and that's where I'm working now. I'll be spending the '14-'15 summer season as a Network Administrator; it's only metaphorical tubes I'm unclogging now, instead of literal ones. (And strangely, despite a vastly lower likelyhood of dealing with poop, they're paying me a lot more).
So it all begins again; already I can spot other ice people in the airport, identifiable not just by our USAP luggage tags but by the unique style of dress that I've heard described as a cross between a hobo and construction worker. It's a few more days of airports for us, and then we'll get crammed into the back of a C-130 for a flight from Christchurch down to McMurdo. Down to a very different world, a very different lifestyle. Down to the ice.