Terrible, but true, I arrived in a city I’d never been before but didn’t venture beyond the airport or my hotel room. Because my First Air flight from Churchill was delayed two hours, I didn’t sleep till around two in the morning, so gave a tour of the city a miss.
Besides the 103rd Gray Cup festival was about to begin. I may have lived in Canada for two decades, but North American sports were beyond me. I’d rather watch field hockey any day. Continue reading Winnipeg Invasion
The only polar bear I saw was this stone one
If you pick up Manitoba’s brochure on Churchill, don’t be fooled like I was. It states the highest probability of spying polar bears is in November but that’s not true.
Reading that piece of information, I booked a journey to Churchill towards the end of November only to discover when I then made enquiries about a tour, everything finished on November 18th! Once Hudson Bay froze over, the bears started to hunt. I found nothing on this date in the brochure yet every tourist operation in Churchill was aware of the time line. Continue reading A Warning to Churchill Visitors
I walked a circuit of Churchill. That meant I traipsed only nine blocks in one direction because the town was that small. It was safe because the polar bears had deserted the town two days earlier with the cold snap. Continue reading Arctic Char in Churchill
Churchill was located on a narrow peninsula; one side faced Hudson Bay; the opposite side lay the Churchill River.
I had already visited the bay side of town so walked towards the river. Despite wearing a balaclava and a touque, the wind cut into my cheek bones so I headed for the railway station to thaw out. Continue reading Churchill River
I’d been in northern Canada before and eaten disappointing food so I wasn’t expecting much.
As a reminder of the freezing conditions, I had to enter through three doors: the first with a grate to make sure you kept the snow outside; the second for when it was extra cold; and a third before you stepped into the restaurant. The second door was open the day I entered so I guess -30 wasn’t that cold for the Churchill locals. Continue reading Churchill’s Gypsy’s Bakery and Restaurant
I arrived at Inukshuk Beach where not another sole lay in sight. Iced Hudson Bay stretched before me along with the first inukshuk I’d seen in the north.
They were signposts for the Inuit. Where the flat, wintery landscape looked the same and there was no sun in winter to indicate direction, inukshuks were constructed to guide the way. Sometimes, food was stored under stones so a hunter might find something to eat if he hadn’t been successful. Continue reading Churchill’s Inukshuk Beach
The morning after my arrival in Churchill, I ventured on foot, with layers of clothing from head to toe. It was slightly “warmer” only -30 degrees. As I plodded towards Hudson Bay, a block away, a grater passed, smoothing the icy street. One other pedestrian hiked in the opposite direction in half the gear I was wearing.
Continue reading Towards Hudson Bay
I flew north from Winnipeg over snow covered ground. We passed beside South Indian Lake as the sun set. Lights flickered near the Missi Falls before darkness set it.
Continue reading Chilly Churchill
There were other places further north I could have ventured, but without realising it until I reached the Rockies, I was suffering from flat-phobia. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, shared by Saskatchewan and Alberta, didn’t cure it. While the forests, the hikes and the lookout were scenic, I hungered for higher mountains and taller trees. Continue reading Cypress Hills couldn’t cure my phobia