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Tales From Antarctic Icebreaker, Trans-Siberian Rail

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Tales From Antarctic Icebreaker, Trans-Siberian Rail


Tales From Antarctic Icebreaker, Trans-Siberian Rail

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


As part of our summer adventure series, you've been telling us what you are doing during your vacation.

(Soundbite of music)

Ms. SALLY NIDEL(ph) (Vacationer): I'm Sally Nidel. I'm from Charlotte, North Carolina. I'm in Iquitos, Peru. We just returned from a ten-day stint at a remote biological station on a tributary of the Amazon River.

Mr. CRAIG SAUNDERS(ph) (Vacationer): My name is Craig Saunders. I'm from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and this summer my 16-year-old daughter and I are going to trek the snows of Kilimanjaro.

Ms. ALICE DIKE(ph) (Vacationer): My name is Alice Dike from Houston, Texas. My summer adventure is to go with my choir for a weeklong residency in Canterbury Cathedral in England.

HANSEN: This week we've reached Nancy Etchemendy of Menlo Park, California. She's having an action-packed summer. She spent June in the Antarctic and now she and her husband are preparing for a trip on Russia's Trans-Siberian Railroad. Welcome to the show.

Ms. NANCY ETCHEMENDY (Adventurer from Menlo Park, California): Hi.

HANSEN: Hi. First of all, I want to hear about this trip you took to the Antarctic. What were you doing there?

Ms. ETCHEMENDY: Well, I was on the NSF's icebreaker, Nathaniel B. Palmer.

HANSEN: That's National Science Foundation?

Ms. ETCHEMENDY: That's right, with a group of oceanographers who were studying some of the big icebergs that have recently broken off the big ice shelves down there.


Ms. ETCHEMENDY: The scientists I was with were gathering data to try to substantiate the theory that the icebergs are fertilizing the oceans and sequestering some carbon.

HANSEN: Well, that's an interesting souvenir of information to bring home.

Ms. ETCHEMENDY: Yeah, yeah. I learned a lot of stuff that I didn't know I was going to learn.

HANSEN: Oh, that's the best vacation. But it wasn't enough for you to stop there, right? You're about to take your next trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Why did you decide to do this?

Ms. ETCHEMENDY: It seemed exciting. I don't know why, but we've been spending vacation in the North Pole region for the last two or three years. We just seem to be sort of attracted to those areas at the moment.

HANSEN: A magnetic attraction.


HANSEN: Sorry. I'm very sorry.

Ms. ETCHEMENDY: You couldn't resist?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I couldn't. I really can't. What will you do on this trip?

Ms. ETCHEMENDY: Well, we will catch the train in Moscow and we'll spend 12 nights on the train. And then we'll ride the train all the way across the continent to Vladivostok.

HANSEN: You realize you would have traveled to the opposite ends of the earth this summer.

Ms. ETCHEMENDY: That's right. And in fact, the Siberia trip will involve going all the way around the world.


Ms. ETCHEMENDY: Yeah. So, it's quite an interesting summer.

HANSEN: Nancy Etchemendy of Menlo Park, California spent June off the coast of Antarctica, and now she and her husband are heading to Russia for a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Have a great time. Thank you.

Ms. ETCHEMENDY: Thank you, Liane.

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