Canada 150 – From the Arctic Circle

Finally made it!  This makes three of three, the places I had never been in Canada – Nunavut.  In addition, I took the opportunity of a free flight (thanks Air Canada Aeroplan) to get north of the Arctic Circle, so I have also completed the song  …from Bonavista, to Vancouver Island, from the Arctic Circle, to the Great Lake waters, this land was made for you and me.  (This Land is Your Land – The Travelers).  But this trip isn’t about completing lists, it is about having a wonderful opportunity to see all of Canada.

Arriving in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

What I was really interested in was seeing the tundra.  North of the tree line (where no trees grow), and just rolling hills and lakes, this was a really unique experience.  The town is quite small, only about 1000 people live here.  Most of the workers do some kind of in-and-out schedule; for example the cook at the “hotel” worked 6 weeks in Cambridge Bay and then had 2 weeks back home.  Some of the other folks I talked to did a 4-2 rotation (4 in Cambridge Bay, 2 out) because they worked 10 hour days.  I put “hotel” in quotation marks because they aren’t like hotels down south – more like a logging or fishing camp; Atco-type trailers, shared bathrooms, meals provided (because there are really no restaurants in town) – everyone eats together.  I was certainly made to feel welcome and I really enjoyed the common meals because it gave me an opportunity to meet new people.   I spent a few hours one evening chatting with a new Canadian – he and his wife and three kids had moved to Canada last year from Russia.

Very unique part of the world, I am glad I went.