Antarctica: Top of the World

“Such a feeling’s coming over me
There is wonder in most everything I see…”
© Richard Carpenter & John Bettis

We hike up a steep, snowy path; my clumsy wellington boots attempting to retrace the footsteps of my predecessors, lest i might sink into the white abyss never to be seen again!

We have been briefed on the ground rules: Once at the summit, no cameras clicking, no talking, none of that ubiquitous velcro ripping sound from our yellow parkas. Just sit down, enjoy a few minutes of silence and take it all in.

And take it all in I do! I am enveloped in crisp fresh air and a panorama of black and white mountains and crystal waters. Made more spectacular by the realization that I am somewhere very remote and special, enjoying what few get to enjoy. The serenity is pierced only by the magnificent crash of a glacier calving in the distance. Tears fill my eyes.

Far too soon, it is time to retreat from my mountaintop perch and make way for some fellow travelers to have their own moments of bliss. And while I hesitatingly trudge down the snowy path back to sea level, I remain high as can be.

I dismiss all this talk about Antarctica being at the “bottom of the world.” I know better.

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