Before I forget….

This is pretty incredible. Color photos from the expedition taken by Australian Frank Hurley. Yes, color photography existed before The Wizard of Oz.

Photos From Shackleton’s 1915 Antarctic Expedition


Last Day!

First of all, a huge THANK YOU to everyone in the archives department here at OSU, especially Laura Kissel and Lisa Carter for making this internship not only possible, but an incredibly enjoyable experience. There is an amazing group of people here, a group I am happy to have been a part of even if only for a short time.


Another big thanks to the original camera men. If not for them… well, this material would not exist. I would exist (I hope), I just wouldn’t be here.


I saw more of Antarctica than I ever imagined, all in a climate controlled conditions. Kind of like a vacation but not really like a vacation at all.

Stay tuned!  Follow the Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program and The Ohio State University Archives on Facebook.


I head off for my own adventures now. First, time for pizza.

Thanks for reading everyone!!

A less-Dangerous Destination

Antarctica might not be one of the most dangerous destinations anymore, but it is not exactly a hot vacation spot either. Well, unless you’re a scientist, adventurer, isolationist, or all of the above.  Survival in  Antarctica does not depend on how well you speak the language or navigate politics, since technically, the country is politically neutral. Military activity with the exception of scientific research is banned based on the Antarctic Treaty signed in 1959. Instead, you must depend on what you brought with you and your inherent survival instincts.

Antarctica is the coldest country in the world (duh). This continent is even colder than the Arctic region due to its higher elevation, which is about 2 miles (3 km) above sea level. Higher elevation means a dryer, colder climate, causing the continent to be classified as a desert. The land was also  part of a super-continent several million years ago, and there is evidence of dinosaur and forest occupation on Antarctica. However, life on the continent has dwindled quite a bit since then.

So, are you planning an adventure, a romantic getaway, or a family trip? Travel is best between November and March when the sea ice has melted. Make sure to pack a few things:

  • Take plenty of food. (The vegetation is close to nil and the hunting of seals and whales is banned. Plus, penguins just don’t look tasty. And humans cannot survive on phytoplankton, I don’t care what the vegans say…)
  • Bring a book. Or four.
  • A fake penguin (to confound the other penguins.)

  • Snowmobile!! (as of 1994, sled dogs are not allowed on Antarctica anymore. see Antarctic Treaty)
  • a camera (to prove it. pictures or it didn’t happen!)
  • a flag (to claim your land.)

There are also a few things to  watch out for:

  • Tsunami caused by the above (freaks the penguins out too)


This is by no means a complete list. If you’re really planning a trip to the bottom (or top?) of the world, do some homework before rushing down there. From what I understand, the restaurants are not that great.

Please excuse me. I have travel on the brain. My internship here will be wrapping up soon and then I head off for adventures unknown!! (Kansas City, actually.) Maybe I’ll take a snowmobile just for kicks.

Happy Birthday Amelia Earhart!!

Gone Adventuring, returning… whenever.

Travel literature is a fascinating genre and can be instructive, narrative, descriptive, or all of the above. Byrd authored a few excellent books, which I have listed here before, describing his adventures in the Antarctic: Little America and Discovery

Some of the best travel writing around the web comes from those least likely to be found in front of a computer. I don’t often take time to read many but here are a few to get someone started:

National Geographic always has something interesting at either Intelligent Travel and Beyond the Edge. While Nat Geo is not a surprising option, I appreciate that multiple people post to these blogs. It’s good to get different destinations and perspectives for travel. There are also some incredible photo galleries and tips. Ultimate Adventurers at Nat Geo also profiles athletes and adventurers around the world. Like the above, explorers contribute their various adventures around the world ranging from mountain climbing to paddling the Amazon to (of course) Polar Exploration. They also provide details on the gear they used, routes, and other tips not necessarily found in the guidebook.

With some help from technology in the last few decades, a fun twist on travel stories are video travel blogs. While pictures and narratives are always beautiful, watching someone interact with a new environment seems to add more depth to the location and the person. Some good ones include Global Encounter, two guys from Texas travelling the world. Captain and Clarke: the Modern Cartographer, which the writers also refer to as The Maverick Expedition, has a unique concept where the the traveling couple is hand-delivering letters around the world.  Another is Kick the Grind TV, by a biologist from Canada. While being awesome, a few of the above blogs are award winning as well.

Of course, a quick search will result in hundreds to thousands of travel blogs with photos, videos, and detailed stories or tips. These adventuring bloggers are a reminder to always have a sense of wonder about life. Although there is so much to see and do in the world, I often worry the greatest dangers to our imaginations are complacency and unhealthy attachments to our comfort zones. I hope these people inspire you to move.


Captain and Clarke:


Kick the Grind TV:

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