Monday, November 25, 2013

a light breeze

i looked out the window across the lake, and was taken aback to see that the world was going in reverse! snow was gusting across the lake and i could see four people heading north, all walking backwards. Step by step they plodded into the past, like someone had hit rewind. like when superman flew so fast around the earth the time rolled back! The illusion was ruined when a snowmobile zipped across, going in boring old regular forward motion. but then it was out of the picture and we returned to backwards land. It really was sort of surreal to watch. Briefly one of the four turned around and tried to walk straight on into the wind, but quickly spun back around and resumed his blind trek.

and no wonder; that wind stings! i barely had any exposed skin, but where the wind did hit was like thousands of little fingers pinching me with tiny nails. i want to say it's like being pelted in a sandstorm, but i have no idea what that feels like. maybe if i ever experience it, i'll say it's like the wind in rankin inlet.

but now i'm home, stripped down to a normal amount of clothing layers, enjoying a glass of red wine, and perfectly cozy.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

10 days in, 10 degrees colder

My second weekend in Nunavut. Funny how when i first got here i posted a screenshot of the weather at -30, thinking that was cold. oh for a day when the windchill was only -30! the the actual temperature is now -31, with the windchill making it -43. It's been like that every day. i check the forecast regularly. it's predicting that next week sunday will get up to -27. oooh, nice!! seriously, that sounds nice. oh how my standards have changed!

anyway, friday nights the big event in town is Bingo. people even come in from other hamlets to play. so of course i joined in. everyone goes to the community centre to buy their cards, but the game is played over the radio. i had dinner with my supervisor and co-worker, dabbing along excitedly as the numbers were called. i was getting pretty giddy on the big bingo as i was only 3 away... and the pot was $15,000! oh well.

because it is a small town, my co-worker knew almost every winner that called in. Oh that's Laurie from downstairs. That's my cousin. That's my aunt. that's my other cousin. probably would have been pretty awkward if i'd won. people would be thinking, who the hell is that? she's not from here! damn southerner taking our winnings! haha. it was a fun night, and seeing as it's another $15k next weekend, i may just have to play again.

Today is the big craft sale. i'm looking forward to it; hopefully there will be something cool i can get for a souvenir. and again, people from all around the area will be coming in.

ooh, yesterday there were three polar bears just on the outskirts of town (at the dump). my co-worker was going to have her husband come get me to go see them, but he said they were already being chased away. but really, they were pretty damn close to the town, and thinking about my little solo walk last weekend, it turns out my polar bear fears were actually not all that irrational. my co-worker said she was chased by a bear about a year ago. how shit, how terrifying. i think i will have to reign in my inner explorer and keep safety a bit more at the forefront.

one final note. i think i'm going to rejoin facebook. 10 days of the isolation up here and i think this may be as good a reason as any to get back on. it's all about staying in touch and sharing with friends, right? well, seeing as i've got no cell service and can't even send a text, i'm feeling the need to reach out. how else will they know that i'm in such a cool (pun, har har) place?!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

roaming around Rankin Inlet

there is no point hiding out in my hotel waiting for better weather. that just isn't going to happen. so i decided to go for a nice leisurely walk to explore the town today. but seeing as it was -37C, i just had to get prepared...

leggings: check.
2nd pair of leggings: check.
socks: check.
2nd pair of socks, extra thick: check
leg warmers: check
jeans: check.
sweater, hoodie, scarf, tuque, snow pants, coat, : check, check, check, check, check, and check.
boots: ugh, hard to bend over with this puffalump body.... check
and mitts: check!
...and only 20 minutes later i was ready to go

it was all worth it! i wandered about for nearly two and a half hours and was perfectly cozy! i ended up walking a little bit out of town, towards the Hudson Bay. i ventured off the road onto some snowmobile tracks, and then off the tracks to climb some rocks for a slightly higher vantage point. i really felt like quite the adventurer; not a soul around, the snow crunching beneath my boots, huge black birds soaring above, the faint barking of dogs somewhere in the distance, and snow and ice stretching endlessly before me. and then i started freaking myself out thinking of polar bears or encountering some other disastrous fate and decided to head back.

i wandered up and down the streets, blinking away ice crystals on my eyelashes. with about half an hour of daylight left (ie: around 2:45), i returned to the hotel and peeled off the many layers. aah!

here are some more photos:
off the path and up some rocks for a view... ooh, so pretty!

looking out over Hudson Bay

this is what -37 looks like.

I know i look a bit frosty, but i was totally comfortable. well, my eyeballs felt cold once in a while (who knew eyeballs could get cold!), and my hand when i took it out of my mitt for photos, but otherwise i was perfectly content. Looking forward to more bundled up strolls.

Friday, November 15, 2013

snow and ice and everyone is nice

ok, i realize i've only been here for two and a half days, but so far, i love rankin inlet. i love the small town vibe; the friendly community is so welcoming. whenever i pass someone as i walk, they smile and say hello. i love the openness, i love the clean, crisp air, i love walking down the wide roads and across the lake as ribbons of snow sweep across my path.

today was lovely, it went up to -7 or something (-13 with windchill). i went for a nice walk over my lunch break, wandering into the core area where the grocery store, banks, post office, etc are. it's as close to a downtown as there is. i chatted with a couple of people as i went, and with those i didn't speak to, we still exchanged big smiles and hellos.

i snapped a few shots on my phone today.
walking to work at 8am
walking across Williamson Lake to work (the red building at the end) after lunch
the sun heading down... and it's only 1pm
Rankin's Inukshuk
I might bundle up later and step outside to see if i can see any northern lights. or i might just bundle up in my pjs with a glass of wine and watch tv. unfortunately, tomorrow is going to be a doozy of a cold day with temperatures going down to -30... -45 with the windchill. makes it pretty hard to wander around and sightsee or take photos. 

but i will definitely head out in the evening because i bought my ticket to.... the beer dance!! there will be two bands playing, and beer brought in for purchase (Rankin allows booze to be brought in, but there is nowhere to buy it in town). anyway, i'm really excited about the beer dance because apparently they only happen a couple of times a year, so this is a big event. yay! and how can i not attend something called a "beer dance"? BEER DANCE!!! i will let you know what it's like.

but now i'm going to sit back and relax in my room, with the sound of skidoos zipping around outside

Thursday, November 14, 2013

the call of the north

Friday morning an email was sent out at work, asking if anyone was interested in helping out at the office in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. They needed someone urgently, and for about 3 weeks. Naturally i jumped at it. An adventure! Another part of this big beautiful world I could explore. I have never been to northern Canada before, so this was going to be a whole new experience. And i love those!!

By Friday afternoon my flight was booked for Wednesday morning. I spent the weekend shopping and packing. I bought a new winter coat and boots (I'd been planning on it anyway, this just spurred me on). I was also told to pack food, seeing as it is very expensive and selection limited. I felt like I was packing for some kind of arctic expedition with my tub full of food. Such a strange trip!

The flight was smooth and all the staff so friendly. Before I even arrived I was getting these warm and welcoming vibes. As we neared the town, flying over nothing but snow, ice, and freezing waters, I wondered why on earth anyone would want to settle down here. It sure didn't look very inviting.

I got off the plane and walked up to the small airport, wisps of snow blowing over the tarmac. I was told that Rankin Inlet was known for its strong, harsh winds, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. It was brisk, but refreshing. Then again, that was the warmest point in the day. I felt quite different walking back to the hotel at 5pm, when it was already pitch black and noticeably colder.

Anyway, time to get ready for work. I will write more later. Especially once I have had a chance to go look around during the daylight (which will have to be the weekend) I really have to bundle up today - it's ridiculously cold out! Check out what the windchill makes it "feel like".


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...