Written thank you notes

IMG_0696I’ve received a few hand-written thank you notes about my book. It’s rather enjoyable to receive real notes rather than emails. I always enjoy writing long hand, as there’s something permanent and personal about it.

When I was traveling across Antarctica, I wrote all of my notes in Rite in Rain outdoor journals using my Fischer Space Pen. This combination has never let me down. The only thing I make sure to do is bring an extra ink cartridge, as I tend to write so much on travel that I’ll actually burn through one of them.IMG_0698The only difficulty in writing I’ve had with the space pen has been when it’s below minus 30 degrees. As that’s the lowest the pen is rated to, that’s not too bad. What I do is touch the tip of the pen to my tongue for a moment to warm up the ink and then it starts flowing.

phil-kessler-800 As it’s a pressure activated ink, once I start going, the ball stays warm enough to keep writing until I stop. It’s great, too, because I can write upside down and sideways while hiding in my sleeping bag. I’ve had the ink glob sometimes and I’m not sure why, but it’s worth that minor irritation for the ability that the paper and pens give me.

DSC00385-800My thought is that if Lewis and Clark didn’t run out of ink, paper, and bullets, I should be able to do the same. At least with the first two, as I didn’t need too many bullets in Antarctica. I’ve learned that I can get 2 weeks of writing per Rite in Rain journal, so I have a good gauge of how many of them I’ll need on a trip.

I’ve learned that after three days, I start forgetting what’s happened on a trip, especially one as eventful as in Antarctica. If I hadn’t written all of my experiences down, there was no way I could have written an honest book about my feelings and what happened down there.