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Published: July 14th 2018
With an old piece of polar bear lower jaw and tooth...
The Frozen Maze
Somewhere during my adventures I found a journey - a journey of falling in love with the polar regions, the barrenlands and the inhabitants.” Anon.
The Arctic Waterways are truly spectacular from the air!
Bathurst Inlet and the Kent Peninsula, Coronation Gulf and the massive Victoria Island… Peninsulas and bays, islands and frozen channels scatter in the dazzling void.
There is a wilderness in the northern parts, but beyond the wilderness is an emptiness, then beyond that, is a stark bleakness and silence.. The Frozen Community
Three kids (Jenny, Neil and Inooki) accompanied us on our stroll through the Northern community of Resolute. The community doesn’t get too many visitors (maybe one hundred or so per year) so it was evident that the kids wanted to engage with us. We chatted as we walked up the hill and they played and splashed around in the puddles. They didn’t have cell phones or other electronic gadgets to fiddle with - instead they were outside in the freezing fog enjoying the fresh air. They were not bored nor were they unsocial. It was a great feeling to be in a community where this 1980s style childhood still exists. The community of Resolute is situated on isolated Cornwallis Island, has only about 200 residents and is
Northern Mainland Canada
accessible only by air.
The community is certainly above the wilderness and well into the bleakness, and gets the unwelcoming award of being Canada's coldest inhabited place, with an annual average temperature of minus 12 degrees Celsius..
Due to poor politics in the ‘50s to relocate people for sovereignty purposes, Resolutes remains a mere whisper to most Canadians…
From Resolute we took a small charter flight to Somerset Island, at latitude 74 degrees north, the island is also in the bleak zone…
We arrived on the small gravel runway on Somerset at the end of June. The iconic arctic flower, Purple Saxifrage (Saxafraga oppositifolia
) was in peak bloom and was a very pleasant surprise in an otherwise brown and white land. The Cunningham River was in flood and vast snowfields still filled the remote interior.
I took a breath as I absorbed the starkness of this stunning region of the arctic. The Frozen List
A list was presented to the team…
Fix the frozen airstrip.Dig the ATVs out of the snow bank and prepare.Explore and enjoy.
I have spent a lot of hours driving
a loader and a compactor these past couple of weeks… But the airstrip is now good, the guests have arrived, and exploration has began. The Frozen Now
Currently, the sea ice is breaking up, the Barrow Strait is almost ice free, polar bears have been spotted, belugas are in the inlet, and the wildflowers are wasting no time to display their colours as the short summer slowly warms the ground. There are foxes, lemmings and hares, as well as a higher number of snowy owls than usual.
Lingering snow banks remain plentiful and the slow melt is keeping the river levels somewhat manageable.
The scenery is inviting! The canyon rimmed edge of the plateaued interior has been smashed by ice and time. The constantly crumbling slopes collapse as the top layers of permafrost freeze and thaw.
Everyday is a new world…
Dave (well adapted to the cold - and as such - not frozen)
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