Friday, July 19, 2013

En route to Greenland ... by gimleteye

An unexpected benefit of flying to Greenland in a small plane: experiencing the immensity of Canada.

From Augusta, Maine it is only an hour to Quebec, the frontier where French and American colonials fought for the northern section of the continent. From Quebec, through the rest of Ontario province, across Labrador and past Hudson Bay to Iqaluit: another eleven hours.

Eleven hours with only hints of human presence or economy. Logging and mining operations seem lost in a wilderness of a million lakes, streams, and rivers. For part of those eleven hours, we were out of radio contact anywhere, flying anywhere from 11,000 to 500 feet off the deck. These days, you have to go a long way to be out of radio contact. That's how remote northern Canada is. Then you arrive in the midst of the native Inuit tragedy, upsetting as any reservation for native Americans in the lower 48.

We left behind the heat wave in the northeast and, twelve hours later, to ice flows beached at low tide on Frobisher Bay, reaching for winter gear. The sun never sets in the summer this far north. At midnight, the teenagers cluster aimlessly on corners and outside bars in town.

Today, four hours across the Atlantic to Greenland. More later, internet willing.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a great trip. Great chance to gain perspective.