Happy 7th Birthday Benjamin!

Today I’m sending birthday greetings to my fantastic nephew who is 7!Aunt Sarah and Benjamin

It seems like yesterday you were just a little toddler!
But now you’re a 7-year-old superstar and I’m your biggest fan!birthday 7

Happy 7th birthday!
Wishing you a special day that’s seven times better than the best birthday you’ve ever had.

Sending you lots of luv, Aunt Sarah
PS. Your mum and dad have a birthday card for you from me!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

moms day

Throughout the years, you’ve always been by my side.
I couldn’t have had a better mother to look up to.
Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Birthday Mum!_0003

Mom quote...

 

Dear Mum,
Hope you have a restful and happy day today!
It’s been quite a year of adventures, looking forward to seeing you soon.
Sending my love always,
Sarah :)

~May 22, 2011~

~May 22, 2011~

 

 

Chill’n in Grise Fiord…

This week I’ve been on the road again…which has been a theme this past year with my work schedule.  I was delayed leaving Pangnirtung by a day due to high winds and a mini-blizzard! But arrived safe and sound in Resolute this past Wednesday.  Thursday my flight to Grise Fiord was delayed (not by weather–but because there wasn’t a plane available.) As I type this blog post I’m waiting in Grise to find out of the plane from Resolute is coming tomorrow…the wind here has picked up a bit–and they are waiting for an update at 1pm.  (we’ll see what happens… my stay in Grise might be a bit extended!)

nunavut_map

…Decided to include the map so you can see where I am writing from!

When I was here in September I was lucky enough to see a narwhal hunt!  This time I’m enjoying the 24hour sunshine and balmy spring temperatures! The views coming into Grise are stunning…the mountains are just so mind blowing.

Grise Fiord (2 of 10)I was sitting on the wrong side of the plane but did manage to get a few shots of the mountains as our plane came closer to Grise Fiord.  Everywhere I looked out on the ocean I saw ‘ice-locked’ icebergs…

Grise Fiord (4 of 10)Grise Fiord has a small airstrip very close to the mountains, the approach is kind of crazy… basically the pilots descend facing the mountains and then at the right moment turn left to land on the airstrip.  The photo below was taken just at the time the plane started to turn.

Grise Fiord (5 of 10)I always love me a shadow!

Grise Fiord (6 of 10)

 

…the plane turn over is pretty fast, a quick refuel–unload the cargo and passenger bags, then load up passenger luggage and passengers and off they go back to Resolute!

Grise Fiord (7 of 10)

The views are stunning here in Grise…it’s fun to visit in the spring with the constant sunshine.

Grise Fiord (9 of 10)These children were playing out on the ice yesterday…for hours they walked around, sliding and digging.

Grise Fiord (2 of 2)It’s fun the hotel is right by the water’s edge…so a gorgeous view of the ice, and icebergs in background.  The hotel is a bit older…the view from the backside, shows the strength of some of the storms and wind that happen here in Grise.  (some of the siding didn’t make it!)

Grise Fiord (1 of 2)

The people are so friendly…I suppose when you live in a place that only has 130 people everyone knows everyone.  And everyone remembers you, it was nice to reconnect with familiar faces from my last visit in September.

Grise Fiord (10 of 10)The enjoying the sun that never sets! Let’s hope I get an update soon about my flight with word that the plane is on route from Resolute.

 

 

 

A Trip to the Arctic Circle in Auyuittuq National Park

Today I headed to the Arctic Circle with a trip to Auyuittuq National Park.  Visiting the park is something that is heaps of fun, and reminds me how blessed I am to have it in my backyard.  The views are so freak’n amazing!  The last time I visited the Arctic Circle was in April of 2009...and also visited Crater Lake… I blogged about it on my original blog. I attempted to head to the Arctic Circle but only made it to Overlord in April 2013.  So today it was time to get there…that was the plan, but really whenever I leave town it’s just to see what I can see!  (Sometimes planned things don’t happen, but the unplanned things are even better!)

The start of the trip always happens at the Parks office…this year they had gotten seal skin parkas and mittens to lend to guests going into the park.  I took a moment to pose with it just before I left Pang.  (I ended up wearing my own parka–just because I knew I’d be warm enough in it). May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 1

Trying on the new parkas at the orientation session at the Parks Office before we headed out.  (Everyone that goes into the park has to have an orientation session and fill out paperwork and pay the park fee!) May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 45

Soon enough we were off…in our snowmobile – qamutik train! (I got to ride in the last qamutik.) May 2, 2015-SMMay 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 2 May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 4

Joavee our outfitter had a couple of stops so we could get up and move around! Perfect for getting the blood flowing again–but honestly, it was a pretty warm day overall. May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 3May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 5

 

Our first longish stop was at Ulu Peak Safety cabin… I did a day hike here in the September of 2013. It was fun to get a ride this time…

 

Ulu Peak is the first on the left--it's top is in the clouds and it's a wee bit pointy!

Ulu Peak is the first on the left–it’s top is in the clouds and it’s a wee bit pointy!

We found the book of stories in the safety cabin–I wrote in the book again (on the left) and found my message from 2013 (on the right).

May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 7

Just enjoying the day…and the warm sealskin parka from Parks! May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 10

Parks Canada is in the process of installing red chairs in all their National Parks.  Today I headed into the park with all parks staff–so they assembled the last chair for Ulu Peak Safety Cabin. May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 9

After it was done… we of course had to have fun taking photos with it! May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 15

Everyone had a chance to sit in the chair–it was very comfy.  May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 12

The first group shot with the chair!
May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 13 May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 14

It was moved and then ‘tied’ to the Safety Cabin until a more permanent location and way of securing it can happen! There was some talk of putting it up on the flat rock behind the cabin—but we’ll see where it ends up. May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 16

Just as we left–the sun peaked through the clouds, and blue skies started to come our way. May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 17

We took the snowmobiles to Crater Lake–and then we had to get out to walk. May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 18

First we had a stop for a quick lunch….May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 19

Stopping to enjoy the sun and scenery! May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 20 May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 21

Then it was time to start the walk…very soon it was evident we were all hiking with too many layers.  We stopped a few times to take off layers—because it was just too hot!  (I ended up hiking in just my headband (no hat); long john top…then my long johns and fleece pj pants. (If i had enough guts to do it…I would have taken off the fleece pj pants as well! May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 22 May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 23 May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 24

It was a gorgeous day for a hike! May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 25 May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 26 There was a lot of snow in the park…but hard to walk on because of the ice underneath it! This was totally different than in 2009—it was all dirt and little snow at all in the park just sand and ice.  May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 27

 

The views are just so giant-sized! May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 28

We made it!  I decided that I should bring some “trees” to the Arctic Circle via my fleece PJ pants that normally no one knows I have on under my snow pants–but it was just too darn hot today with that many layers!

May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 30It’s always a good spot for a group photo! May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 33…did you notice the ‘head’ off of the Inuksuk fell off? (It fell off with the wind apparently!)
May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 32Joavee our outfitter extraordinaire!
May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 34

…I keep coming back to this park because the views and the mountains never get old. May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 31 May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 35

The guys gave us a ride back to the base of Crater Lake…some of the photos below I took while on a moving snowmobile! (…the selfie and scenery and other snowmobile and hiker photos!) May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 36

Crater Lake is a lake that’s held together by a glacial moraine.  in 2009 we hiked up into the lake…walked over the bright blue lake with heaps of bubbles frozen in it.  But today we hiked up the side of the moraine to get a look at the glacier.  May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 37

 

 

I was so shocked to see how much it had receded in the last 6 years.  My photo from 2009 on the right and 2015 on the right.  It’s hard to see but the arch on the right–that’s the bottom of it now…when it use to reach the lake (which is the white flat surface in the photo). CraterLake (April 19, 2009 LEFT) (May 2, 2015 RIGHT)

…these photos below are from my trip in 2009.  I stood (in the middle photo) at the base of that glacier…I wonder how many more years it will be around for? One of the parks guides said that he predicted years ago…that it would be totally gone in 10 years. Sadly, I think he might be right.
CraterLake (April 19, 2009) 2

 

Climbing up the moraine was a steep climb… (can you see the people coming up?) May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 39

Sometimes when you get to the top of a moraine you just need to JUMP! (in a sealskin parka…which might be quite warm, especially when your photographer keeps asking you to repeat….thanks for being such a great sport!) May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 40

“Are we back at the Skidoos yet?” “Oh ya–I think I see them…. “May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 41

The end of a great day…of fun in Auyuittuq National Park! I seriously loved that parka–if only it was just a teeny bit bigger and of course my tree pants really are the last part to the perfect wardrobe! May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 42

And we are on our way home…with smiles and heaps more memories from a day in the Park.  May 2, 2015-Auyuittuq National Park. 43We totally lucked out with great weather.  Close to town it started to get really windy–and it’s been blowing and snowing ever since!  Glad I’m safe at home now…

 

Hello from Hall Beach, Nunavut…

After the weather clearing up enough for a plane to land in Igloolik yesterday…I was able to make the 20min flight to Hall Beach.  Before yesterday I had only ever been in the airport–it was so nice to be able to leave the airport and explore the community! So without further ado, here’s some photos from my walk.
Hall Beach (12 of 14)

 

Just before you enter the hamlet of Hall Beach coming from the airport…you see this GIANT anchor.  I asked some people in town what the story was and was told that a ship during the war was anchored here…but when people woke up it was missing, only thing left was the anchor. Honestly, not sure how much fact or fiction is in that story…if you know more, please leave a comment and let me know! nunavut_mapHall Beach (ᓴᓂᕋᔭᒃ) but is called ‘Sanirajak’ in Inuktitut which means ‘The shoreline place’. It is located at (Latitude 68° 46’ N and Longitude 81° 13’ W).

This is the oldest known permanently inhabited community existing north of the Arctic Circle. Hall Beach is a very traditional Inuit hamlet located on the eastern side of Melville Peninsula, which is part of the Canadian mainland. It faces south toward the fertile waters of Foxe Basin. For thousands of years, the local people have enjoyed and benefited from the yearly arrival of large herds of sunbathing, squabbling ivory-tusked walruses of enormous girth and tooth. This ancient place boasts some of the best northern wildlife viewing sites on the planet and it has an exceptional human history. The local hunters say that you will see creatures here that you just won’t see in many other parts of the circumpolar world. A happy sense of community here warmly welcomes you and draws you deeply into the local Inuit culture. {Source}

 

Hall Beach (1 of 14)Here are some photos from my walk this evening around town. Below is the Co-op Hotel, the only option for accommodation…last night it was fully booked. (however, I didn’t have a roommate so that meant more could have been accommodated!)
Hall Beach (3 of 14)Today was a glorious sunny day! The days are definitely getting longer here above the Arctic Circle—sunrise is about 5:25am and sunset is around 9:27pm.

 

 

Hall Beach (5 of 14)One of the things about Hall Beach that is so weird (after living in Pangnirtung for so long) ishow FLAT it is!!!

Hall Beach (8 of 14)…while I was at the school I saw the new ‘anti-littering’ campaign from the GN (Government ofNunavut) it’s below to the right!  Such a great poster…made me smile when I saw it.

Hall Beach (9 of 14)While out for a walk I spotted this old bombardier…a bit rusty, but still running!

 

Hall Beach (10 of 14)Snapped a shot of this shed…and kammotiqs in this person’s yard.

Hall Beach (13 of 14)

I came across a group of dads sliding down this little hill to the beach while on my walk. It was really cute watching them go up and down…the hill was a heap smaller than the ones around Pang! Hall Beach (14 of 14)

In the late 1950s Hall Beach was created as a settlement to support the Distance Early Warning Line System or a DEW Line Site. These sites were strung across the Arctic to be on ‘alert’ and warn southern Canadians if there was an attack was coming.

Now Hall Beach is home to a North Warning System which is ” a joint United States and Canadian early-warning radar system for the atmospheric air defence of North America. It provides surveillance of airspace from potential incursions or attacks from across North America’s polar region. It replaced the Distant Early Warning Line system in the late 1980s.” {Source}  It’s located near the airport…which are the buildings located in the photo below in the middle (the ones to the left is the Fuel Tank farm for the community!) Hall Beach (11 of 14)It’s been a great visit here in Hall Beach.  Everyone I talked to were so friendly and welcoming.  I’m glad I finally got to visit and be able to leave the airport!

 

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