31 Jul, 2015 Rankin Layover
Our flight worked out this time, and Ryan and I have made it to Rankin Inlet where we are met at the airport by Page Burt, owner of Nanuq Lodge. As we move our gear we find out that we didn’t make it by very much. Not a half hour after landing, fog has rolled in off of Hudson Bay and engulfs the town. Had our timing been off, maybe the plane would have passed on landing and continued on to Yellowknife, from where we would’ve had to find our way back.
Fortunately, we are here, and this is made all the nicer because it gives me a chance to reconnect with Page. I met her a few years ago when I traveled to Bathurst Inlet Lodge and Wilberforce Falls in the south central Arctic. Page spends time there each summer as their naturalist in residence. I learned much from her as we hiked out onto the land, and she and her dog Esker wound up being in my Into The Arctic II film. Prior to adding Rankin Inlet to our route, I had no idea she ran a lodge here in town, and the welcoming of a friendly face met in past travels make new travels all the more enjoyable.
Page gives us a tour of the town, accommodating our need to get filming right away. It’s always good to get some footage in the bag right away as one never knows what may come next. It goes really well, as the fog lifts and offers us some great evening light.
Our plan was to only stay here one night and move on to Naujaat, where we’ll be boating to Ukkusiksalik National Park. But late ice up there had us shift our plans to stay here and use up a couple days while we wait for things to melt further north.
I explore the town for the next couple of days, and get out along the coast a little where I find a neat old boat to sketch. It makes for nice subject, flanked by a smaller canoe. While sketching, the islands in the background once again become engulfed by the fog, and so does all of my immediate surroundings. A silence accompanies the fog, and creates a surreal environment. I wrap up my drawing, and right on cue, the fog lifts again for my walk back. Pretty nice timing up here.
Some grey days follow, with rain and all, and we settle into the comfort of Nanuq Lodge and I bury my head into more writing and photo editing. This consumes all my time when I’m not painting and filming, but it’s been rewarding to share the northern experiences with others in my own way, to open a small window for others to see this land through.