Wednesday, April 23, 2014

the most beautiful day of spring in the Arctic: West Arm

a perfect sun dog

Sometimes there are times when you just know that you'll remember that day as being special. Everyone still talks fondly about that beautiful day last summer when everyone went to Long Point Beach and enjoyed the rare warmth of the hot sun.  Those who missed it still regret it. Those who were there cling to that memory on the coldest of winter days.

I think we had that moment again this long weekend. Good Friday felt not only good, but gloriously warm after a long cold winter.  With the windchill, it had been close to -40 all week, but suddenly at the beginning of our four-day weekend we found ourselves shedding our fur parkas and Canada Goose jackets as the day warmed up to a sunny -10 degrees.  It was unheard of. We were practically sweating.

It seemed like the entire town decided to head out to West Arm that day to enjoy the day.

We brought along our "down south" winter jackets (the winter coats we would wear in Ottawa or Toronto or somewhere else equally tropical) and loaded into the truck to drive out on to the ice road.

The ice road was a lot clearer than the last time we had driven on it; there was no stunt driving this time, and a second lane actually opened up with a proper median separating the traffic and everything. It was probably the fanciest road in all of Nunavut!  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that one road was for going to West Arm and the other road was from coming from West Arm, and I ended up driving down the wrong way down a one-way road for the entire way there. With the ice wall medians, there was no way for me to get to the right lane once I realized my mistake. But, I mean, since when are there one-way roads in Nunavut? And to be honest, who was going to pull me over? The polar bears?

Once we got to West Arm, we realized that pretty much everyone in town had the same idea that day, and the area was full of people hanging out and kids sledding.

Of course, by "full" I'm talking Nunavut standards so there was still plenty of empty space in the Arctic wilderness to find your own hill to hang out on.

look at that sun dog!

Once we found our private hill, the boys stripped off their coats so they can suntan under the warm sun, which was giving off this beautiful rainbow sun dog that morning.  We girls tried out the snowboards.

F. tried his hand at snowboarding too.

...but eventually switched to the sled.

It was basically my ideal day.  Sunny warm weather, friends to hang out with, a bit of adventure, and tea.

smashed up igloo
(not photographed: the pee)

I can see myself in your eyes

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