The Thirsty Beagle

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Update: COOP F5 South Pole photographer speaks!

by Nick Trougakos Published: January 16, 2014
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Earlier today I posted the photo below:

That’s a can of COOP F5 IPA on the actual South Pole in Antarctica. It was provided to COOP’s JD Merryweather by Jessica Dodson, a military nurse stationed in Antarctica. This afternoon, I was able to track down Dodson and ask her about the photo. (Remind me again what we did before the Internet?) She is an officer in the Oklahoma Air National Guard and is stationed at McMurdo Station, which is about a two- to three-hour flight from the South Pole.

The Thristy Beagle: I’d love to hear the story of why you decided to take the beer down there, and why you decided to take a picture of it on the top of the actual South Pole. Are you a big fan of F5, or Oklahoma craft beer in general? Are you from Oklahoma? I’d be happy to have you provide any and all details!

Jessica Dodson: I took the beer with me because JD is a good friend of mine. I thought it would be catchy to say it was the only tornado in Antarctica since this is the only continent that has never had a tornado. I took a picture of it on the south pole just because I thought it would be a neat shot. I am a born and bred Okie and proud of my state. COOP brewery has some of the best crafted beer I have tasted, they deserve this privilege of making this trip with me!

TTB: What part of Oklahoma do you call home?

Dodson: I was born and raised in Miami, OK. I bought my house in Moore (which was damaged in the May 20 tornado) 10 years ago when I was on active duty status in the Army. (Blogger’s note: Dodson was able to repair her house and move back in in August.)

TTB: So how long have you been in Antarctica, and how long will you still be there?

Dodson: I’ve been in Antartica for about 10 days and will be here a total of 2 months.

TTB: What is typical day-to-day life like in Antarctica? I would assume you guys don’t spend too much time outside, but maybe I’m wrong!

Dodson: My primary job is as a military flight nurse, but if there are not people that need to be moved, then I help in the clinic. We are open 0630 to 1700, but are often here longer and on our one day off if the people on station need us. It’s a small community, and it’s an honor to help take care of the people on station. On my off time, I hike a lot, it’s really beautiful here, lots of trails here. It’s cold, but they issue us cold weather gear.

So there you have it! Thanks so much to Jessica for sharing her story, and for spreading the Oklahoma beer gospel — and really spreading it to the far corners! She also shared this picture:

Great view, and some great beer to go along with it as well. Can’t beat that.


by Nick Trougakos
Local Editor
Local Editor Nick Trougakos has been with The Oklahoman since 2002. Trougakos covered the military, federal agencies and courts before becoming an editor in 2005. Prior to joining The Oklahoman, Trougakos was a reporter for the Oklahoma City...
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