12 Aug, 2007 OUT

The third and last day of our hike back out found the sun greeting us a dawn. As we had begun this journey, so it seemed to be ending; glorious sunshine to warm you us right to the core. Add to that a wind that pushed at our backs, and it was a recipe for a perfect day of hiking. That is until about noon, when the cloud moved right back in and covered the sky once again. But at least it didn’t rain.

During the hike I reflected upon the privilege it has been to explore this majestic part of not just Baffin Island, but the world. Like living history, the signs of the shaping of this land by ancient glacial forces make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The continuous changes all around, with the thundering boom of falling rocks from on high, make you realize how the changes are continuing. In some cases at an alarming rate. The most obvious example here is likely the Fork Beard Glacier that runs around the north side of Mount Thor, which can barely be seen from the trail. In the photos from just a few decades a ago, it ran down almost to the valley floor. In some of my research, I must have come across those older photos, because I had in mind the possibility of that being an interesting compositional element in a painting. But even a scurry up the opposite side for a better view didn’t reveal much. Things are always changing, but it does seem more and more that we are causing this to accelerate. I’m no scientist, but if that is the case, perhaps we would do well to consider just how we impact these wilderness places through the way that we live.

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