Today was our day to go to the US Antarctic Center (or “Centre” as they spell it here in New Zealand) and get our ECW gear. “ECW” stands for “Extreme Cold Weather”, the kind of not-so-balmy stuff we’ll enjoy at the Pole.
We arrived at the CDC (“Clothing Distribution Centre”) at 9am, to a sea of orange bags, two for each of us, and Mike McIlroy, the guy who runs the CDC.
These bags were filled with all sorts of warm weather goodies which we tried on for size Here I am with my Big Red Parka, black insulated bibs, leather gloves, goggles, warm hat, and white “bunny boots”. All ready to go!
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to board the plane and take off. I wish we did. But, they like to have the planes take off early in the morning, so they make us get our ECW gear one day, then report back for the flight the next day… we will report at 6:30am tomorrow, hoping to take off at 9am in our glorious C17.
But before we leave the CDC, let’s meet some of the guys who make things happen here – Guy (in black) and Gary (in orange). They’ve been here… forever, I think. Just like Mike. They fill up our bags with gear, and then help us change for new sizes if anything doesn’t fit.
With about 2300 (or was it 2800?) people passing through the CDC each season, they fill a *lot* of orange bags. They do it from this warehouse at the CDC right next to the room we tried things on in:
and at least one more big warehouse nearby where they have more gear stored. (By the way, that’s JT on the left side of that warehouse photo).
All outfitted, ready to go… now we wait until tomorrow.