Monday, October 09, 2006

On the Land

Hello Everyone,
After a year of triing I finally made it to the land. Over the past year lots have people have told me they would get me out, apparently all I had to do was quit asking southerners and ask a local. It was -10 this morning with clear skies and Gabby said he'd call to see if I was ready around 10:00, Around 7:30 the phone rings "Can we go now?" I hear as I awake from a deep sleep on my first day off since god knows when. 15 minutes later I'm waiting outside (I'm wearing my winter gear for the first time this year and its too hot to wait inside). We're supposed to be going out for Caribou. When he arrives I found out there's a wolf near town and he wants to get it, too late as we leave town we see the wolf on the way in strapped to a Honda. At this point I'm thinking I should have pulled my Belaclava down before we were doing 50 with me bouncing around on the cargo rack. My cheeks ache from the cold within 10 minutes, luckly I lost feeling in them about ten minutes later and from then on I was never cold again. The back of a ATV's cargo rack may be fine to sit on while touring around town, however on the land it makes for a butt breaking ride. BRING A CUSHION is on my list for next time. We spent a hour and a half crossing the frozen tundra over land I never would have thought a ATV could travel (much to my butts dismay). Thoughtout this time I never saw a single moving thing with the exception of various other ATV's looking for Caribou. We eventually arrived at a Elders tent as he had recently returned home with a fresh Caribou. Yes please take a moment to imagine this, Living in the Tundra year round, no electricty,, no plumbing, very little wood for fire, in a TENT at 70 years of age. He was sitting on his Honda drinking a hot coffee from his Coleman telling my friend what he'd seen lately. Shortly we continued on following caribou tracks. Soon we turned around and hunted our way back over endless hills and following endless random tracks. Eventually Gabby stopped the ATV on top of a cliff and said we should wait here for the caribou. Suddenly he turned around and pointed and said alot of caribou were about to come through a ravine about a quater mile away, and seconds later they came about 40 of them. Unfortunetly they were too far away for my rifle and there were 2 cliffs and a frozen river between us. He announced "Now we run" and he ran towards the cliffs, I fumbled to put my rifle on my back and get my gloves back on as he ran towards the cliff. we both scaled down the cliffs and ran across the river and he started to scale the other side and pointed for me to run down to the lakebed then climb the cliff and there we would wait. Unfortunately the Caribou were moving too fast and were too far away when we reached the summit. So he ran back to the ATV and I made like I was moving fast while I tried to catch my breath before he pointed at something else. we made it back to the ATV but we couldn't find the trail as they crossed onto the rocks. From there we tracked a wolf for a couple of miles with no success until we just sat and watched the world go by on a cliff above a frozen lake (Pictured). From there I admitted my butt was on its last legs and I should go back and cook dinner. The first Photo in the series shows 2 caribou, I was there and it took me a couple of minutes to see them.
Nunavut means our land, and these people love their land, its not hard to imagine how someone could be so in love with a frozen tundra. I can't wait to get back out (however,
my butt can wait at least a week or two). I remember asking a Inuk emloyee in Baker If they liked tree's, Her answer was "they get in the way of the view". I guess you can't see the forest for the tree's.

Take Care and have a good Thanksgiving,


Anonymous said...

Curtis, I hope your stomach has recovered from the recent assault of local food delicacies -- lol.

The pictures were great and it gave me a real sense of the land. I for one, miss seeing trees. I am certain I couldn't survive in that climate, or at least would have to have a trip a couple of times a year to see more vegetation.

We had a spectacular Thanksgiving weekend, weatherwise. Temperatures were in the low 20's, with sunshine and blue skies. We also had lots of food, got to see famly and friends and for that I am so very grateful. What a wonderful country!!

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to the "land" and it sounds like you have embraced all aspects of living life to the fullest in the north.

Keep the dialogue and pics coming -looking forward to what you discover on your next adventure--

Happy Thanksgiving to you all -- Rosalie

Anonymous said...

I found the caribou!!! It was like finding Waldo. lol