Thursday, September 19, 2013

playing the tour guide


This week I've been finding myself playing the tour guide to several out-of-towners.  This means that I've been going on long drives and looking at a lot of scenery.  I know, it's a hard life up here.

I've been doing what I can to show the best of Cambridge Bay, and taking my own photos too.

The weather wasn't very cooperative in the morning, but it made for an interesting view of the Bay.

Luckily, the skies cleared up beautifully later in the day.


beautiful sun dog

The lakes, rivers, and ocean were all starting to freeze up this time of the year.

river freezing up

the Maud shipwreck, frozen in ice

I took one of our out-of-towners to the Visitors Centre, where there were fur hides of all sorts of animals, including an unborn seal.


I also showed her the dump, because, well, I find the dump interesting. 

The dump was on fire today.

The alien spaceship-like structures of the Distant Early Warning Stations were a definitely a must-see.

As well as, of course, the asbestos burial site behind it, a patch of ground fenced off with plastic orange in the middle of the empty tundra:

Cabin in the middle of nowhere

I wasn't sure at first why this worker was climbing up this huge pole.  I'm still not sure why, but I heard that a wolf was spotted on that road, so maybe he was trying to find a safe place?

We spotted a lot of other animals during our drives. It got to the point where it felt like I was on an exotic safari drive but I wasn't on an expensive trip in the African wilderness.  We were behind my house.

A swan, walking on ice, probably confused about why the water was so hard.

a different swan, swimming comfortably

Arctic fox, watching us

run fox run

Can you spot the Arctic hare in this photo?
He is probably waiting for more snow to fall.

We also saw some muskoxen!

They appeared to be moulting their fur in exchange for a winter coat.  A lot of the dogs in town are doing that too. It makes them look kind of funny, like they are all shaggy and they forgot to brush their hair. 


We were approaching Mount Pelly when I noticed something on top of the mountain ridge that I had never seen before. 

"What is that white  dome doing on top of the mountain?" I asked.  It was enormous.  I hadn't remembered anyone building such a large structure there the last time I had climbed it.

And then I realized it was the moon.

It was a full moon, and it was rising rapidly. 

We stood transfixed as the moon continued to climb up the sky and grow smaller, a smoke contrail leaping out as though a plane had lifted off from the moon's surface.

Meanwhile, at the same time, the sun was setting.

Sunset with sun dog still showing 

simultaneous sunset and moonrise!

Photographers joke about "AFS" ("Another Effing Sunset") but I don't think I could ever get sunset fatigue. It really was a spectacular sunset, out here on the tundra.  Every moment it seemed to grow more beautiful; every few kilometres we drove, we discovered another angle that made it seem different and better each time. And to have a glorious moonrise at the same time as a glorious sunset, while swans and foxes and hares and muskox pranced around..I really felt as though Nunavut was a magical land.