JOURNALS

Field journals from Cory’s Into The Arctic expeditions.

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29 Jul, 2009 Leaving The Falls

Heli dropped in to inform that they had just spotted a mama grizzly and 2 cubs about 4kms away and suggested we keep a close eye out. The field work they were doing meant that they were flying by a couple times a day, and it was a big comfort to have those eyes in the sky looking out for us as they passed by. We had bear bangers, bear spray, a sat phone and such, but were really not wanting a personal visit from these creatures. Though humans aren’t on the menu for these bears, they actually eat mostly...

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28 Jul, 2009 At The Edge

Spent the better part of the day in just one small section of the falls. There were so many possibilities packed in there that I had to explore them closely. Unlike the first month on Ellesmere where getting a different view would usually mean hiking for kilometers to get a real change, everything that is catching my attention here around is concentrated in this one region. Hiking a bit in one direction reveals the gorge around the corner. Looking the other way I can see the big drop into the pool below. Stepping closer to the edge uncovers the world...

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27 Jul, 2009 Painting at Wilberforce Falls

Well, maybe I overestimated just a little. My initial plan once arriving at Bathurst was to canoe along the ocean for 30km and then hike in 10km to get to the falls. All this in a week, and still get back to the lodge! What was I thinking! Our flight in yesterday made it clear that I had bit off way more than I could chew. Or course, I knew this would be dependent on the weather, and the winds that were howling made it clear that canoeing was out of the question. The logistics had changed as well. Our...

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26 Jul, 2009 To Bathurst Inlet

Woke up well rested. Maybe the sun actually setting again helped, after not seeing that for the last month. I stayed at the Blue Raven B&B and enjoyed a nice breakfast from the owners Tessa and Mike MacIntosh. That’s where I met Max Attwood who was joining me for the next leg of this journey that will take us to Bathurst Inlet and Wilberforce Falls. He had arrived prior and toured Yellowknife for the day, and filled me in on some of the interesting places he’d checked out. Unfortunately for me, there would be no time on my way through...

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25 Jul, 2009 Parting Ways

Hard to believe, but I am flying out today. On to the next leg of this journey, Wilberforce Falls, via Yellowknife. That means that Carl and I will also be parting ways. After almost a month together in the highest of the high arctic, my brother is going home as I carry on. For a long, long time, we had been talking about this trek. About Carl leaving his family and work behind to join me in my pursuits. I was honoured that he had decided to make the sacrifice to join me and to help me in so many...

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24 Jul, 2009 Belugas

Headed back to the community of Resolute today for a little visit. On our way through weeks before I had seen an old beached boat that caught my eye. I wanted to see if it might again, and maybe I could turn it into a small painting. We signed out the “red van” from Polar Shelf, and drove down there. Along with us were Tony Gaston and his assistants Rob and Kevin, researchers who were looking for permits to bring back eggs they’d collected in the field. We dropped them off at the wildlife office and then headed toward my...

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24 Jul, 2009 Belugas

Headed back to the community of Resolute today for a little visit. On our way through weeks before I had seen an old beached boat that caught my eye. I wanted to see if it might again, and maybe I could turn it into a small painting. We signed out the “red van” from Polar Shelf, and drove down there. Along with us were Tony Gaston and his assistants Rob and Kevin, researchers who were looking for permits to bring back eggs they’d collected in the field. We dropped them off at the wildlife office and then headed toward my...

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23 Jul, 2009 Catching Up

Long night. Was trying to upload almost 160 photos to our website, but the wireless connection kept dropping after each photo. Really wanted to get this done before moving on, so I kept trying until the wee hours. Over the years, my travels as a painter have taken me to some extraordinary places, and I’ve come to the realization that I cannot paint every aspect of them. At the same time, I want to show them to others and share the experience being there. Photos, videos and writing have become tools to accomplish this, and sending back what I can...

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22 Jul, 2009 All About Weather

Up early this morning. Landed safe and sound in Eureka last night for our overnighter at the Weather Station building where we were treated to fine meals and accommodations.   We hiked around after dinner in some nice weather to get a taste of this working town. Not too many folks here right now, about 15 or so, working on various changing projects. During our tour of the facilities Carl and I learned a bit about meteorology and found out that there would be a balloon launch at 6:15 am. They do this twice a day, every day, at the...

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21 Jul, 2009 The Mad Packers

Word this morning was that a Twin Otter was passing through today. As our flight out in a couple of days is going to be full, Carl and I were asked if we could prepare a couple of our duffle bags to throw on the plane to help make Thursday’s flight easier. No problem. The next couple of hours were spent sorting and re-packing. I used this opportunity to set aside gear I don’t need back home with Carl when he is is to leave, making the rest of my remaining trip lighter. Boxes of paintings that I started, extra...

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20 Jul, 2009 Breaking Camp

Carl and I broke camp together for the last time on this trek. Though I will be doing this more over the next while, Carl will be moving on in a few days. Where does the time go. I have to admit, and so would he, that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ve rather abused our bodies over the last few weeks, and they could use a break. We both have families we are missing greatly by now, and he will be getting back to his before me as I continue on in the north. But before any of...

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19 Jul, 2009 Last Night Out

Kind of cloudy this morning, so instead of painting right away, Carl and I opted to hike further upstream to study the lay of the land. As we returned, the sky began to open up in places, allowing light to stream through onto the land. Last night I had found a promising composition, and it was time to get moving. As I began this new piece, the light accentuated the colour on the back side on Mount Tammia. The horizontal brown stripes of rock created a fantastic depth through perspective, and the river below reflected some of the warm yellow-oranges from...

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18 Jul, 2009 Shuffling Along

Woke up very groggy. Surprise, surprise. But it was worth getting up at all hours of the night to check on the painting light just the same. Rolled out of the tent and, and looked up. Hey, the light was looking pretty nice now! I guess the sun had to go all the way around before it finally shone down from this angle. Strapped on the pack and went off to start a new canvas. The hike took me to a point where Cleaves Glacier capped off the top of a vertical composition. After watching the sun hit the scene...

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17 Jul, 2009 Back Out There

Time to get out there again. Looking at the map closely, we decided that crossing the Macdonald River would have to be off the list for the rest of our time Tanquary. With less than a week to go before flying out, we couldn’t risk being stuck on the other side and not getting back for our flight. Not even sure if we could crossing it again as the weather has remained quite mild. Carl and I opted instead to follow the river into it’s valley for a few days and see what views unfolded. With our packs back in camping...

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16 Jul, 2009 A Day Off… Almost

After the events of the last few days, Carl and I figured we would take today to recharge a little and get our affairs back in order. Do the things that get pushed aside when busy doing the creative stuff in the field; more laundry, back up footage and photos, write some more and so on. I even decided that I would not paint today. Not even look. Help to see things fresh again later. Things unfolded as planned, not that eventful, but necessary. After supper, when all was done and I sat around, I started to think about this creek...

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15 Jul, 2009 A Brush With History

So there we were sitting at the table and enjoying our coffee when the pilot walked in. Carl and I were still thinking of our river crossing and glad to be back when we said “good morning” to him. This must be the flight to Fort Conger we had heard about. I had hoped that there might be a possibility of getting out to this historic site during this trip. However, I had put that out of my mind earlier once I was informed that this flight wouldn’t be coming back to Tanquary. Fort Conger is an amazing link to...

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14 Jul, 2009 The Crossing

The alarm went off at three a.m. Carl and I reluctantly rolled over. What a lousy sleep. We tried to go to bed after supper last night anticipating the early morning rise, but sun streaming in the tent, and heavy winds, kept us tossing and turning. Maybe too it was the possibility of seeing the river still being too high. With some concern, we walked over to have a look at the Macdonald. What if the levels hadn’t dropped? How long might it take? What if the weather continued to be warm? These thoughts rolled through my head as we...

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14 Jul, 2009 Change of Plans

Having been very pleased with finding such great scenes to paint yesterday, I was ready to head further into the mountains for more. We had only planned for three nights on this outing. We decided to hike a few more hours, and to spend the night by Red Rock Glacier, maybe even touch the glacier, and fill our water bottles from it. The weather has continued to be amazing, almost 20ºc, and not a cloud in the sky for two days. One might even say it was perfect, but not us. Though it was an above average heat for this...

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13 Jul, 2009 A Place With a View

We took time to explore the other side of Omega lake this morning, just beyond the ridges it opens up a dramatically large vista. On one side, a massive braided system of the airport and rolling rock rivers, and around the bend a ways, the scenery offered a huge birds-eye view of Tanquary Fiord. In the foreground, were some of the ridges we climbed yesterday, and on the right, the rivers feed the bay. On each side are mountains rising out of the ocean, the water was a mix of ice and various shades of blue. But the backdrop to...

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12 Jul, 2009 Heading for the Hills

Geared up this morning for a few nights on the land. Park Staff, Oasis Film Crew, and Carl and I were all heading in the same direction. We got up and ventured out together. One of the biggest obstacles in the way was the Macdonald River. It wasn’t flowing too high, and other than the fact that it was extremely cold on our feet, we crossed with no problems. Things did get tough as we started to climb, even though we had trimmed our packs down, it was still a struggle. The reward came nine kilometers later, as we stumbled...

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