South Camp Inn, Resolute Bay

March 22, 2009 9:28pm

The night is cold. Really cold, even inside the tent. A good exercise
nonetheless, as there were a few things that I can adjust. Not the
least of which is face gear at night. Frost is setting in my stubble
and steam explodes out of my nostrils. It keeps me up for most of the
night. I fall in a calming meditation. For hours, I reminisce and
contemplate my close encounters with the bear this summer. The tension
of his approach, the suspended reality. And the charge. I re-live those
moments again and again, imagining different scenarios down to the most
dire. Internally, I feel my heart pounding as it had then, alone on the
ice, fueling each vessel in my body and pumping it with the adrenaline
that fires up every cell and lights me up like a firework. I feel
alive, damn it! I am alive! It is addicting.

Those bears are magnetic. Odds are we will not see them on our way to
the pole, as bears don’t need to venture this far North in the winter
time for food. Sightings of them are rare at the latitudes we will be
traveling. But tracks are not uncommon, a constant reminder of this
fierce lord of the ice.

When morning comes, my feet are cold, my face is cold, and we have not
slept much! Keith fires up the cooking stove which soon fills the tent
with a welcomed nod to civilization. Luckily this time, we only need
walk a hundred feet and we are back inside the comfort of the South
Camp Inn! Better enjoy that while we can. Final packing of the sledges.
They weight in at about 190 pounds including fuel which is better than
I had anticipated. Once packed, we bring them to the airport to be
weighted. Payload is critical for the Twin Otters that fly the white
desert of the Arctic. We have confirmation, weather pending, that we
will be wheels off at 7AM. T minus 10 hours. And so it begins…

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