ends-of-the-earth

Ann Curry on her way to the South Pole

Oct. 29, 2007 at 6:50 PM ET

(From Ann Curry, TODAY Anchor)

The C-17 that will fly us to Antarctica is warming up, and as I write this our NBC news team is on the tarmac, feeling like we are about to jump into the unknown.

Producer Matt Carluccio says he's "psyched." Cameraman Mike Simon is pacing himself trying not to get "too excited."  Leave it to Bobby Lapp, our soundman to see the downside, "I'm too hot in all this gear."

We are sweating, wearing three layers, and heavy expedition rated snow boots and huge coats, what we need to survive on what the scientists call "The Ice." 

Ninety percent of all the ice on the planet earth is in Antarctica.  It is the world's air conditioner, and if it stops working we are all in trouble.

Video: Ann Curry discusses her journey

Climbing aboard, we can see it's going to be a full flight.  Most of the best and the brightest scientific minds on climate change want to be in Antarctica now, as it offers a pristine place to get evidence, and November is the beginning of its spring season.  It's going to be cool to let America hear what they are discovering. 

But what has Mike, Bobby, Matt and me feeling a bit giddy is our plan to see the South Pole, fly over Mt. Erebus, an active volcano, and hang out with penguins.

We're told tourists are not allowed where we are going, so we are going to try our best to show you what we experience, so you feel you are along with us.

So long as we come back with all our fingers and toes.

The doors to the C-17 are about to close.  I have a feeling Bobby will soon have no complaints about our gear.

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