It is Day 41 of the expedition and we have arrived at our northern most destination Lands Lokk, which is Otto Sverdrup’s furthest north which he obtained on May 6, 1902, so just a few days before we arrived. And we arrived in very similar conditions to him with a bunch of humidity blowing in off the Arctic Ocean from the north and poor visibility and kind of mystic, mysterious cloud and light formations. So that was a bit windy in the face, but kind of fun as well.
We’re camped close to where we think that he and his travel companion Per Schei camped. And we’ll take tomorrow off; we’re going to give the dogs a day of rest and a bunch of food. We’re going to spend time searching for a cairn that Sverdrup erected that has never been found.
Now this cairn, just for the people that don’t know, is more or less a pile of rocks, typically but not always, with a bottle inside that contains a note stating information about the people who made the cairn, route information, and other information. So if someone else found the cairn, they could kind of have a trail to locate in case the original party went missing, or there was some information to convey. Sverdrup also used cairns to help him make maps and for navigational purposes as well. So two other capable expedition parties have spent some time up here looking for this cairn, so we think our chances are fairly low. But it’s going to be pretty fun to hunt for it and to walk around the beautiful mountains and hills right outside our campsite here.
So everyone’s doing very well right now. Kyle’s appetite has gone up. Toby’s beard is still a very big beard; it’s got a lot of white sunscreen pressed into it that doesn’t ever seem to go away. Next to him is a picture of his hero in the tent Otto Sverdrup that was just hung on the wall. And Hugh, I think he has a bigger beard than Toby and he’s still taller than Toby. So everybody’s doing well; we’re happy for a day of rest.
We’d also like to thank our two main sponsors of the expedition, Bergans of Norway, makers of technical outdoor equipment and clothing since 1908, and Devold, maker of wool underwear and sweaters, a Norwegian company founded in 1853. So thank you for the support. And we’d also like to thank our dogs for their wonderful support, Elle, Axel, Larry, and Napu. We’re happy to be here, we’re thrilled the expedition is going so well, and we hope you have a very nice weekend.
About the author:
During the late winter and early spring of 2007, John lived in Baffin Island, Canada, for 100 days. There he worked as expedition manager for the Global Warming 101 – Baffin Island Expedition. While documenting the local Inuit experience with climate change, the expedition connected school children in the States with their counterparts on Baffin Island.