Time to kill, time to enjoy, time to leave

We are camping  8.8 nautical miles (16.3km) from the North Pole tonight.
Most expeditions would dash for the pole just to grab it, to make sure all your efforts are paid for when you punch in the 90 degrees of latitude in your GPS.
You end up skiing 20 to 30 miles in one go to get there.

But the old saying that it is not about the destination but about the journey is very true for us.
We do our snow measurements, we film, analyze crystals, have 45 min lunch breaks and simply enjoy the magic of the Arctic Ocean whenever we have a moment out of our zone and military discipline.
So no big rush to get to the pole except the risk of getting harassed by 3  polar bears that are reported  wondering around here and have been visiting other expeditions.

Despite the cold, the weather has been exceptionally great and leads frozen and very little movement in the compact ice.
We see pressure ridges but they are formed at night while we sleep, in the morning when we strap on our skis everything is usually solid.

The only complaint we have is that the terrain is flat and a little boring because it is first year ice.
We feel blessed to have a few more days at the pole before we are heading back to Longyearbyen.
More time to soak up the scenery, do some filming and be in the Arctic without a schedule to follow.

In  2007 when I wrote a piece for National Geographic Traveler about doing the last degree to the North Pole, most of the clients on the trip were corporate executives from London with a week off from work to ski to the pole.
On Friday night we reached to North Pole and Monday they were back to work in their offices.

When I called one of them the following week he actually believed the trip didn’t happen.
His mind and body had only just adapted to the pace of the Arctic but now he is already absorbed by the daily routine.
The pictures he took were his only memory.

Not for us though – having time at the pole after we will reach it feels like a blessing from the North Pole.

Cap for tonight:
lat=89.85454
lon=151.75983

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