Into the Wild

In another day, I will be headed up to the wilds of the Arctic.  My destination is Cambridge Bay – a small hamlet above the Arctic Circle located on Victoria Island.  I have never been this far North, and it will take my boyfriend and I two full days to get up there.  We can get to Edmonton pretty easily, but then the next day entails taking flights on increasingly small charter planes to get all of the way to Cambridge Bay.  Here’s where we are going:

  

Why would anyone go to a place where the temperatures are currently ranging from -40 to -20F when Spring is attempting to visit the northern US?  Well it’s not for my Wilderness Medicine fellowship this time.  It’s actually a crazy trip that I have choosen to go on of my own volition.  And my incredibly understanding (and fun!) boyfriend, Nick, has agreed to go with me.  It just seems like such an adventure to go this far North.  I’ve got wild ideas in my head of seeing a polar bear and the Northern Lights, but I’m sure the reality of this far flung destination will be beyond any of my expectations.

I’ve tried to prepare myself for this trip in two different ways.  Nick and I spent some time hiking in the White Mountains this winter (and my die hard followers already know all about my experience at the winter mountaineering school). 

Check out the beardsicle:

   

 

I’ve also been reading a beautifully written and poetic book about the Arctic – “Arctic Dreams” by Barry Lopez.  Lopez spent a fair bit of time in the Arctic, and the book is a compilation of his thoughts about the terrain, the surprising abundance of wildlife, the indigenous peoples, and the history of Arctic exploration.  I’m looking forward to finding myself in this mysterious and desolate landscape.  

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