Snapshots of the Canadian Arctic

Next week I’ll be jetting off to South East Asia so pretty soon I’ll have all sorts of new posts, but right now I want to run back through my archives and write about some old experiences.  I missed #ThrowbackThursday… how about #FondmemoryFriday ?  Can that be a thing??  #Way-back-whenWeekend ?   Whatever we’re calling it, I’m taking you along as I reminisce on my time North of the Arctic Circle.

My memory was triggered last week when I visited the National Gallery in Ottawa and viewed the Inuit Art exhibit.  Beautiful collection, by the way.   I think I’ve mentioned in this blog that my previous career took me to all sorts of locations, and one of those was the Canadian Arctic.  This is a unique world unlike anything else I have ever experienced and I consider myself spectacularly fortunate to have had the chance to be there.

This map is from the Inuit Art Exhibit.  I added in the stars at the communities I’ve been to

In 2007 and 2008 the company I worked for had a contract with one of the airlines serving remote Arctic communities, and I would spend two weeks at a time on rotation up North.  Dramatic landscapes, extreme temperatures, different languages, new foods – there were many times I had to stop and remind myself I was still in my own home country!  (At least until I started talking with someone again: I found Canadian Inuit people to be very generous and friendly!)    In summer the sun doesn’t set, and 24 hour daylight is something that takes some time to get used to.   But that’s a much easier adjustment than winter, where the constant darkness is made even worse by the incomprehensible temperatures.  (Negative 45 degrees Celsius in not uncommon during winter!)

A 10 minute walk in Yellowknife left me frosty
Beautiful Spring day in Yellowknife
Cambridge Bay, March 2008
Glaciers and mountains
Glaciers, lakes and mountains
Flying over glaciers and mountains
Pond Inlet Airstrip
Pond Inlet in Summer
Kids of Clyde River
This shop always made me giggle – I love the irony
Iqaluit, Baffin Island, in August.  Notice all the icebergs in the bay
An Inukshuk marking the way
Something magic about the Arctic


12 thoughts on “Snapshots of the Canadian Arctic”

    1. The flippant answer is to avoid going between November-February! 😉 But I would suggest it’s crucial to have the proper gear; a high quality parka and boots are a must! I don’t know details offhand, but I remember some of the tour companies would provide all the arctic gear to wear, or there may be other places you can rent it from.
      I hope you do get a chance to go!! It’s truly the most amazing experience!


  1. Kids are sure cute…..I shiver looking at the other pix. Definitely looks ‘extreme’



    1. They really are! The funny part, I took that photo just after midnight, but the whole town was still up and out because the dark winter wasn’t far away – everyone took advantage of the remaining light in the fall!


  2. Wowza, how beautiful! One of my life goals is to see narwhals in the wild. I know that you can see them somewhere up in the Canadian Arctic. Did you get a chance to see any?


    1. I tried – every chance I got I looked for narwhals and polar bears, but unfortunately I didn’t get to spot any. But I also never had the chance to take a tour; I’m sure that the chances of seeing a narwhal are much better that way!
      Good luck! I hope you do get to!!


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