In a few days I leave for a destination that has been on my bucket list for many (many) years: Churchill Manitoba. It is a small (pop. 970) town on the Hudson Bay. It lies 40 miles west of one of the world’s largest polar bear denning areas in the world. We’re staying 20 miles east of town, heading towards the denning area. It is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. In October-November the polar bears head from their summer homes to the Hudson Bay. They wait until the ice forms then they spend the winer out on the ice catching seals. Since we are approaching Spring, we have been assured we will not see any polar bears. I’ll have to go back up some Fall to see the bears.
I’ve been putting together some of the warmest clothes I’ve owned in 30 years. I went to school in Orono, ME for two years. Those two Winters in Maine were pretty darned cold. We wouldn’t wear a coat if the temp was over 20 because having a coat was a pain and 20 was not that cold.
The temp in Churchill right now is 0 degrees. Wind chill is -18. Yup, that’s cold. It’s weird but I don’t think the brain can comprehend a difference between -20 and -40. The brain just knows it’s cold. the problem at those temps is protecting skin. many layers of tech type fabrics and I think I’m all set.
I’m a little nervous about going on a trip and not knowing anyone beforehand – a bit of a nightmare for the shy introvert but I’m pretty sure I’ll survive. I do not like heights but I went to the top of the Space Needle in Seattle by myself the first time I was there because I wanted to see the view.
When I saw the tweet about this trip in December, I (almost immediately) decided that I wanted to go. I hemmed and hawed a bit but when it came down to it, I wanted to do this – for me.
I decided that I wanted to do this more than I was afraid of doing it (someone famous had a quote that said something like that and i saw it around the time i was deciding). Well, a few more days of prep and getting things in order at work and then off I go! Camera, warm clothes and courage… Check, check and check.