I made it back home safe and sound. I’m in Seattle now where the temperature is 57 degrees F and the skies are mostly sunny (well, the clouds are rolling in as I type). It rained on me the other day and I liked it. A lot. It’s awesome to be here.

I was met on Thursday at the airport by my amazing wife to be Alexis and the reunion was obviously a very happy one. As I watched her drive up to the curb, I was jumping up and down. That night, after a proper in-bed reunion, we went out for dinner to my favorite Thai restaurant (Thai Toms for those keeping track) and then slept for 12 hours (the flight from Auckland was long and I couldn’t sleep). The rest of the weekend was a lot of slacking about, sleeping and in and being welcomed home. Saturday night, Lex and my best friend Dayna threw me a surprise party at Penny and Bradley’s house. It was really nice to have all my closest friends gathered in one place for me so I could say hello to them all. It made me wonder why I had ever left.

Each morning now I wake up next to the woman I love and know that I am more than happy to be here as opposed to there. The South Pole was an amazing experience and I am going to be forever grateful that I had it, but to be honest as possible, I am glad it’s over. My life is meant to be lived in a place that I can leave whenever I want and which gives me plenty of options for things to do. I needed what Pole gave me, but I got it and now I’ll use it here thank you very much.

I’ll be getting some pictures up on my site here soon enough, but for all intents and purposes, this blog is done. I am not though and I hope that the readers I picked up as a result of this adventure will stay around and keep up on what I am doing. After all, in the next few months I am getting married. That should be as adventerous as the south pole, at least. right?

So please, keep an eye on CharlesRedell.com which is being turned into a portal into my life, complete with blog and pictures. And remember to say hi from time to time!

Thanks for reading and thank you for all your comments and words of encouragement during my dark times at Pole. I couldn’t have made it through without writing all this down and I doubt I would have written it if someone hadn’t been there to read it.


5 thoughts on “HOME!”

  1. Charlie: Welcome home! We still need to get together in Seattle when I return next month and introduce your better half to my better half, and enjoy one of the things we couldn’t get at the Pole — good microbrewed beer! I had a somewhat different experience than you, though the end result is the same — I have no desire to ever return to the pole… I met at least one person that I would sit for hours and carry on a conversation. Jessie could go on for hours, and I was never bored when I was listening to his stories. I wish I could have had those 9 hour days you talked about, and the 6 day workweek. But, having been in places just as bad, or perhaps even worse, I suspect I was just better prepared for what we got. I’m still working for “Mother” Ray, but it’s a total change from the “Program”. A much better change, I might add!!!

    You’ve got my email. Let’s get together in a couple of weeks — my treat. You may have to suggest a place though, as my favorites all serve meat as a primary sstaple. Cheers, mate. -Roger

  2. Charles the Jackall,
    I am so delighted you both survived- and persevered the South Pole. You had such a clever and cunning spirit I had no doubt you would rock it…Congratulations on your nuptials and enjoy Seattle. I used to live on Whidbey island and so Seattle was so our suburb of debauchery.
    Lynnette Harper
    p.s. I was the winter materials senior who kind of, sort of trained you when you landed in the Pole. Sorry for not being the most attentive- but after 14 months at the Pole quite honestly, I could care less about anything but sun, mangoes, and when my flight out was.

  3. Wow,

    I read through most of this and all I can say is…WHINE.

    jeez, go cry some where else. So you had to hump some food, at least you are on the ice. Christ, this was one of the lamest things I have read. You were allowed to do something that very few are ever offered and you make yourself out to be some kind of hero.

    Go stack produce in your current job at the local Publix. Blog about that, it would be about as interesting

  4. I stumbled upon your blog with interest. I wintered over at South Pole in the early 80′s. No one who has not been through the whole experience can understand the intense range of feelings you go through after returning, so your comments about smells, etc brought back a lot of memories. I was blown away the first time it started raining after touching down in new Zealand after a year at Pole (and people at the hostel i was staying with thought i was nuts of course).

    As someone who wintered over before the advent of the internet and decent cell phone communication, i think you recent winter-over guys and gals had it easy in a lot of ways. All we had for communication with the outside world during the winter was ham radio and literally nothing else, no satellite internet connections. If you think the winter over experience was isolating in 2007, it was a whole other level of crazy back in the day.

    I stayed in the old dome structure during my year there. I hope you were able to make it into the even older underground original station they built in 58 that was on the other side of the ice runway. We had to dig to get into it in the 80s (you dug to get to the top hatch of a tower and then descended into tunnels that were under the ice to get to the old buildings, very cool but also creepy), so i don’t know is it’s still accessible now or not.

    It hit -114F the year i was there, which i believe is still the low temp record. I hope you joined the 300 club.

  5. Hey John, Thanks for checking out the blog and leaving the comment.
    No doubt you all had it way harder than modern-day winter overs. To be clear though, I didn’t even winter. I was just there for the summer so I did have a cakewalk, comparably.

    I never made it to the original structures. I have no idea if they are even there still, or accessible under the ice. Who knows? I bet it was cool to see and check out, if totally weird. We did explore tunnels under the station but I don’t think those are what you were referring to as the access was under the new station.

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