Bag Party Part Two


This time last year, I had to learn the hard way that traveling could be pretty stressful. I was presented with several issues traveling to Russia. To recap: first I started off the trip with a three hour flight delay in central Wisconsin, next because of storms in Minneapolis, I had to sleep in the airport – all the surrounding hotels were full, and finally while we waited in baggage claim at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow to grab our bags mines did not show up – apparently it took a trip of it’s own to Amsterdam without me and did not show up for another 11 days.

I have a record for having the worst luck when it comes to traveling that can take up a whole blog post on it’s own. This year, I learned that there’s nothing more gratifying and relieving than making the same trip without having to experience those same difficulties. This year my bag and I had not gone separate ways and it showed up in baggage claim in Moscow!

Polaris students waiting at Sheremetyevo airport. © John Schade

Polaris students waiting at Sheremetyevo airport. © John Schade

 

My return to Orbita feels much like the Monarch butterfly’s return to its winter grounds in Mexico – intentional and purposeful. I’m excited to be back and look forward to all the difficulties and triumphs that will come from this year’s research expedition. The journey here was long and tiring, and now that I’m here, much needs to be done. I have so many great memories from last year and I’m confident this year will be better!

Last year we celebrated my bag making it to Chersky – and aptly named it bag party. This occasion calls for another bag party – except not in the same way we celebrated last year. This year instead, all of the joy and energy invested in that moment will be celebrated by jumping headfirst into the fieldwork necessary to complete my project this summer. We have three weeks to collect as much information as possible – I intend to use as much of that time as possible.

An Arctic ground squirrel at the Northeast Science Station. © John Schade

An Arctic ground squirrel at the Northeast Science Station. © John Schade

 

However, first thing’s first, I need to find myself some arctic ground squirrels.