Exploring the Life of Adventurer Norman Vaughan
Mr. NORMAN VAUGHAN (South Pole Explorer): It was Christmas Day when we landed on the ice. Admiral Byrd called me and said, `Norman, harness your dog team and take me into the interior. We're going to pick out a site for our camp.'
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:
That's South Pole explorer Norman Vaughan, remembering his historic trek on Richard Byrd's expedition to Antarctica 77 years ago. Vaughan died Friday, just days after celebrating his 100th birthday. He sought adventure throughout his life, most often in the company of canines. In the 1932 Olympics, he raced a dog team. During World War II, he led rescue dogs in the Battle of the Bulge, and he ran the Iditarod, the 1,100 dog sled race in Alaska, 13 times, the last one at the age of 84. Oh, and he even had a mountain named for him.
Mr. VAUGHAN: When Admiral Byrd told me, `I've named a mountain after you down there,' I said, `My God, that's wonderful. I've got to go down and climb it.'
ELLIOTT: After several setbacks, Vaughan finally summited his own mountain when he was 89 years old.
Mr. VAUGHAN: I looked out one way and I saw the great Scott Glacier. I looked out exactly the opposite way and there was Amundsen Glacier. I had seen both of those glaciers in 1929. Little did I think that I'd ever be able to be at the top of this mountain and look and see them both; a tremendous feeling of being so small in this world and that the world is so large.
ELLIOTT: Explorer Norman Vaughan died this past week. He was 100 years old.