Trail Dispatch – In the Shadow of an Iceberg



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Coordinates: 67.46.975 N, 64.26.331 W
Distance traveled: 18 mi/ 28 km
Temperature: -10
°F/ -23 °C
Wind: 5 MPH/ 8 KPH
Cloud Cover: Stratus clouds, clearing the late afternoon
Sunrise: 5:29 a.m.
Sunset: 7:17 p.m.

On the road again! We left Qikiqtarjuaq at midday, after the winds had calmed down and our lunch party adjourned. Seven or eight adults joined us for grilled cheese and onion soup, to wish us well on our voyage to Clyde River as kids clamored over our sleds, which are lashed and loaded for the trip.

Down on the ice a small crowd gathered to see us off. The dogs banged excitedly on their lines, eager for the adventure. Simon and Will’s sled took off first, traveling with its usual speed, and disappearing around the corner within minutes. Our sled was next, with Sarah on skis and me running alongside on foot, just in case the dogs needed attention. We were soon passed by John and Nancy’s team, who never last long in the chase position. Lukie and Theo caught us much later in the run, having waited a little to give us a lead. They are the fastest among us these days and ended up leading the caravan by the end of the day.

At a tea and snack break, Theo pointed to a snowy mound in the distance and announced, “We’ll camp at that iceberg tonight.” Iceberg! How cool! We spent the rest of the afternoon traveling towards it, and the mound slowly became a real-live, genuine iceberg. I remembered talking to my friend Ina at Inuksuit School about the huge number of icebergs they used to see in the bay every year. They would float down the Davis Straight and get trapped in the north arm of the island. Nowadays, Ina explained, they don’t see nearly as many. Camping here, in the shadow of this frozen fresh water giant, nearly 4 stories high, I am awed by its size and wonder at the distance it has traveled.

iceberg.jpg Our group of eight has changed again, as Sarah McNair-Landry has joined the team for this leg, and Elizabeth has decided to dedicate her energy to the education goals of the expedition from base camp. We are grateful to Elizabeth for her willingness to step up and meet this need. While we will miss her on trail, we know her important work will help us better achieve our mission of documenting the impact of global warming on Inuit culture. Thank you Elizabeth!

Full moon tonight. All is well. Signing out…

Abby

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