Last night I dreamt that Desi and I were on a vacation to Antarctica during the southern summer. I remember the flight down there beginning at night, but it was day when we arrived – the 24 hour day. We flew down to McMurdo. From there we decided to a bus to a tourist town that was sheltered by the wind by some mountains and had a good view of the ocean through a bay. There was a strange method for obtaining a bus ticket. When I went to the ticket window, the person behind the desk directed me to an arcade game. The arcade was a multi-game arcade and, buried amongst the game choices, was the option to buy a bus ticket. I selected it and used my credit card to complete the transaction. The bus ride seemed to take about an hour or two.
This town was built in a 1900s Alaskan Klondike style, even though no such town existed in history. There were tourists from all over the world visiting. Desi and I toured the town and saw some attractions, including science displays and wildlife. There was even an X-Games event with skateboards and bicycles happening by the bay, where small glaciers floated past.
As our visit was coming to an end, Desi and I began making our way back to the bus depot. As we started walking back from the X-Games event, I looked up at the mountains. I saw an avalanche rolling down the mountain. I pointed it out to Desi and pulled out my phone to snap a picture. We expected the avalanche to stop at the end of town. When I snapped my photo, the leading houses were already engulfed and the avalanche was travelling down the street right for us!
I grabbed Desi’s hand and we ran to the left, one street over, along the bay and in the direction of the bus depot. In crossing that street, it looked somewhat clear, until the avalanche burst through the boulevard pine trees about 5 blocks away. We ran another block, but Desi was slowing down because of her feet. I slowed down and stayed side by side with her, my hand on her waist to guide her faster. We crossed the next street and the avalanche was only 1 block away. A slurry of waistdeep snow was unstoppably coming for us. We made it to a 2.5 story house and Desi ran up the stairs when the snow began hitting my legs. I was holding up against the avalanche, but the snow kept getting higher and higher. Desi was crying and holding our her hand to me, but I yelled to her, “No! Get up the stairs!”
The snow finally stopped. I was along the house, only a few feet away from the stairs, in chest deep snow. I crawled to the stairs and entered the house. It was dark and I met Desi again in the stairwell. We embraced and comforted eachother, drying our tears. I took off some layers, kicked off the snow, and bundled up again. We exited the house to make our way to the bus station. The town was in a panic from the avalanche. When we arrived at the bus station, I had Desi wait in the outdoor warming area while I tried to get the tickets.
The bus station was crowded and the line was held up by someone not figuring out how to use the arcade bus ticket system. Luckily, most of the people already had their ticket, but I was really losing patience with this youngster trying to use the arcade and not figuring out how to get a ticket. Right when he was done, I moved to the front of the line, cutting someone off and saying, “Out of the way. By the time you figure this out, it’ll be dark. I can get my ticket fast and be out of here in no time.”
I was about to start a fight. These guys looked like there were from the X-Games, and he was backed up by his bros, so I made an offer, “Three bucks says I can get my ticket faster than you.” He took on my bet. What I failed to realize was that, while the other arcade was a 2-person player arcade, this one was 4-person arcade. The selection was grayed out unless all 4 kiosks were in use. The bros decided to select a snowmobiling game while I was trying to get the bus tickets. I was forced to play. When they won the snowmobiling race, complete with making electronic jumps and shortcuts, they got their tickets. By then, the terminal was empty because I had missed the bus and I had just lost the bet.
I returned to Desi. It had gotten dark outside, but I think it was because the sun had passed behind the mountains. The bus terminal was empty, but there was a sales person or manager up the block at the terminal where we arrived. Desi and I stole (ahem, borrowed) the bikes from the X-Game bros when they weren’t paying attention (playing another arcade game) and we peddled up the block to the other terminal.
Thus, I began haggling with the manager. There were going to be no more buses out of the town. The next option out was to take a hydrofoil, but that was heading in the wrong direction up the coast. I didn’t realize how late it truly was. I was going to miss my morning flight out of McMurdo. The flight out from the other destination, which was really the only option, was going to send me to Iceland, but I would need to figure out how to get home from there. This was the end of the Antarctic tourist season and, if I missed my flights, I risked spending the winter on this harsh continent. It was at that point that I woke up.