Posted by: sioglac | Dec 4, 2011


It took a while to figure this one out, but McMurdo has a really strong 80s feel to it. What ever do I mean by this? Well here’s a list off the top of my head:

  • We watch movies on a VCR. On top of that, we’ve been watching a bunch of 80s movies, including (but not limited to) Lethal Weapon, Mad Max, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Tango & Cash, Dune, Tremors, and The Thing.
  • A lot of the music people play is from the 80s. Last night I heard timeless hits like Pour Some Sugar on Me and Danger Zone.
  • There are a lot of mustaches and beards. I thought a lot of the mustaches were for Movember. Not so much…
  • People play arcade games.
  • Life has a distinct summer camp flavor (communal everything). When I hear summer camp, I think Wet Hot American Summer. Thus summer camp = 80s.
  • The pepper on the tables in the galley looks like its been sitting there since the 80s.
  • The 80s-era Big Red song is stuck in my head all day, every day.
  • I went cross country skiing yesterday, which in and of itself is pretty 80s in my mind. It also made me think about Nordic Track Skiers, which are very 80s.

So about my first cross country ski! Huw, Matt, Knut, Ben, and myself all went out to Castle Rock on Saturday afternoon with Matt, Knut, and Ben on foot and Huw and myself on skis. I don’t have much to say about the event actually other than I had a lot of fun skiing and I very much appreciated Huw’s patience while I slowly figured it out. It was a beautiful day and it felt incredible to get out of town. I have lots of pictures to show you, but first a story:

Because my hip flexors were basically unusable today from skiing yesterday, I needed something low key to do. Well I walk into the Coffee House after brunch and find Huw, Matt, and Knut doing a jigsaw puzzle. Perfect. Turns out this particular puzzle had a bit of history—it came in a ziplock bag (no cover picture to cheat with) on WINFLY (Winter Fly-in, or the first set of flights right when the sun rises for the first time in mid-August) and has yet to be completed. Interestttingggg. We took this as a challenge. We are finishing this puzzle.

And then we soon discovered this was the most frustrating, poorly made puzzle in existence. All the pieces were either four female sides or four male sides, there were sections of just black leaving you with dozens of pieces to put together with no clues as to orientation, we had no idea if we were missing pieces, and the pieces that fit together didn’t really fit all that well. 5 hours later, we finished the just-under-500-pieces-of-evilness. Best McMurdo jigsaw puzzle solvers ever. Bring on the next one! Now you know how I spent my Sunday…

Pictures of cross country skiing:

Me on cross country skis for the first time ever. Why didn’t I do this during the 6 years I lived in New Hampshire? Huw admiring the smoke coming out of Mt. Erebus. Castle Rock is on the right.There are a handful of survival pods (called apples for their similarity to the fruit) along the trail in case of a weather change. Pretty boring inside as we found out.Castle Rock itselfSame spot, looking the opposite direction

Walking around back. My new camera has performed admirably and len flares come out well. Happy happy.Where we stopped and had a bit of water on the backside of Castle RockThe penguins are this way. Also, not a bad view at all…Flat and white. Gonna be a lot of this. Black Island in the background.On the way back looking over McMurdo at the Royal Society Range (which even Wikipedia describes as “majestic”)

I’ll just note here that, yes, I was totally in awe looking around the whole time. Some puzzling pictures:

Huw, myself, and Matt pondering the evil puzzleVictory picture. I’m clearly totally pumped. This picture was followed by eating victory bananas. Lucas and Ben meanwhile were playing every game the Coffee House has to offer. Including Broadside, a game from 1962 based on the naval warfare during the War of 1812. Needed photographic evidence of this masterpiece.

[And I can’t believe I made it through the whole post without saying, Everyday I’m puzzlin’…]



  1. […] I get started, I totally forgot the most important item in my list of how 80s McMurdo is: there are no cell phones, so we talk on room phones or public lounge phones. And all the principal […]

  2. AHHHH this is your best post yet! My dad has a nordictrack in our basement that he still uses, and he actually did get it in the 80s. Also, now that you know how to ski you can come with me when you get back!

  3. […] in McMurdo Station is like. Multiplied by about a million. It could be because of its constant stuck-in-the-80s feel, or maybe just because it’s the same people, doing the same thing every year. Regardless, I […]

  4. […] of doing the hardest puzzle on the face of the planet, we did an adorable puzzle of penguins […]

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