Roald Amundsen left Norway on board his ship, Fram, in August 1910 and reached theSouth Pole on December 14th, 1911. He is known as a model of efﬁciency and success inexploration, although in a way even his great successes were failures. The Fram expeditionwas planned as a march to the North Pole, but that goal was claimed in 1909 by bothRobert Peary and Frederick Cook (although neither man, in fact, reached the Pole) and Amundsen turned his own voyage southwards and struck out for the other end of the world.“Can anything more topsy turvy be imagined?” he wrote when he arrived at the South Pole.So his greatest triumph was a kind of second place in his own mind. Although my name might prompt images of Ukranian Easter eggs, Balalalikas, and men inpuffy pants with their arms crossed kicking out their legs like gymnastic cancan dancers, I am also an Amundsen on my mother's side, andsince Roald Amundsen had no direct descendants (at least not ofﬁcially), I'm pretty close to an heir which is one of the reasons I have beenplanning for twenty years to follow in his footsteps on the 100th anniversary of his expedition south and to return to write about it. And I won't make it to the South Pole, although I wanted to. You can get someone to yank you there if you've got about $65,000 to spare. Idon't. I originally hoped to ask the National Science Foundation in the United States for help – they might have been able to get me to thePole without the expense -- but as the anniversary date of Amundsen's expedition drew closer, I couldn't contact anyone at the Antarctic Artists and Writers program. American government agencies were all reeling after eight years of George Bush and all the phones were onhold. Amundsen said there is no such thing as bad luck, just bad planning and so I suppose I should have started planning earlier. Orsaving. I shouldn't have relied on luck to get me to Amundsen-Scott Base. But sometime in the spring of 2010 while I was staying at myfriends' place on Protection Island, I realized that it might still be possible to go. How much would that cost? Was it even imaginable?