Antarctic Research Blog #126: The Ice Cave


Non-fiction: Lucy Jane Bledsoe: The Ice Cave (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006)

The Ice Cave is a travel book, but more to the point, it’s a book about experiencing nature. The title refers to an ice cave the writer Lucy Jane Bledsoe visited as a child, and which she describes as her first profound experience of a natural environment.

She also participated in the U.S. Antarctic artist residency program, and the last part of the book is about her experiences there. The rest deals with sailing, mountain hiking, visiting the desert, and considering the meaning of animals such as mountain lions and bears.

Bledsoe is a vivid writer, and her experiences often have a gentle comedy to them. Not all experiences in nature are profound. Sometimes they’re silly or even stupid, and Bledsoe talks about those too. Those are some of the best parts, and it’s easy to identify with Bledsoe’s point of view. She’s got experience with survival, but she’s got limits to what she’s comfortable with.

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