Susan and I arrived back home a few days ago, sad to have left the remarkable beauty of the north, but glad to be able to sleep in our own homes once again. Camping can be fun, but it does grow old after a while. The photograph of our kitchen tent, tied down with many guy lines to combat the increasingly frequent westerly winds, will give you an idea of why! As many of your know, trying to sleep or work in a tent being buffeted by strong winds can be a stressful experience.
Our flight home was uneventful, the most remarkable part of it perhaps the lack of sea ice. This year may break the record for summer sea ice loss, depending on the weather this next month.
Like Peary, we were welcomed back by friends and family who listened to our stories and fed us very well. Unlike Peary, we will not spend the next few months receiving honors for our accomplishments, or traveling the world on a lecture tour (although we do plan to provide an illustrated lecture here at the college!). Nor will we face a media frenzy over whether we were where we said we were! We will be spending the next few days collecting ourselves, tying up loose ends from our field work, and getting back into the rhythm of work at the museum.
There are many projects we put on hold while we were away that we need to catch up on, to say nothing of those that museum staff completed in our absence. We have to catalogue the objects we collected, and prepare a report on our summer’s work, all while getting a new exhibit ready for the spring. In the back of our minds we will also be thinking about plans for the future, and when we will next be back in the north.