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An Auspicious Start

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA– The adventure begins with shuttle ride to SFO (San Francisco International Airport). Already the interest and excitement for the work being done in the Antarctic has helped me along the way.

I have almost too much baggage to carry. Two backpacks a giant pelican case and a large tripod bag. Backpack on the front, backpack on the back, a wheeled case pulled by one hand and the tripod bag in the other. I could carry no more.

Waiting in line at ticketing, overloaded, a helpful agent of the airline came over to assist me. He recognized the pelican case as media equipment immediately, I can only image how many bags he must see.

After admitting that I’m not a professional photographer, although, I suppose it is an easy mistake to make. I began to explain what I was doing: Traveling to Antarctica to engage in scientific research; the need for outreach, I am funded through taxpayer money, and the efforts of the Exploratorium. Immediately, the questions began and his interested was revealed.

As he helped me get my tickets and check my bags, he waved nearly $150 USD worth of baggage fees because he appreciated what I was doing and excited to see what I am up to. I wish I had gotten his name, if you’re reading this, supportive Qantas Agent, thanks so much, you are a true gentleman.

Currently, I am drinking a glass of wine and eating pizza, my flight boards in about 1.5 hours and I figure, a full belly and a little night cap will make the first portion of the 14 hour flight quickly slip by.

San Francisco International Airport.
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