Churchill, Manitoba

Churchill Manitoba was quite the unique place. When you look on a map and find it on the edge of the Hudson Bay, you would understand that it is truly in the middle of nowhere. I thought we entered a new world when we landed in the middle of the tundra. Living in the PNW, you are always able to within a short distance be amongst great mountain, rolling hills, and amazing valleys. In Churchill, the most elevation gain I saw or experienced came from climbing the steps onto our tundra buggy. Very flat, and quite barren. With that said, there was still quite the adventure to be had.

I should probably start by explaining the crew I was with. I traveled this trip with a company called Natural Habitat. They took care of all the arrangements, from food, social events, tundra explorations, and even chartered us a flight on an 1898 prop jet used back in the American/Spanish conflict. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I was a little concerned. The good news is the flight went without even any turbulence - give it up for some serious duct tape and rope.

When I walked into the welcome dinner in Winnipeg, I thought I mistakenly entered a meeting for the AARP. It was quickly pointed out that I wasn't actually the youngest in the crowd as my new friend Sheri just happened to be a couple years younger. I think there were three of the 6 couples that had more wedding anniversaries than I have birthdays. Luckily, I have an ability of speaking slow, enunciating, and with a little volume so they could all hear me.

With all kidding aside, I simply felt at home, very similar as I do at work with my retired clients. They were wonderful people, willing to engage and share life's experiences and have fun as we wandered the tundra. Sometimes the slow moving machine across the bumpy tundra lulled us into a catatonic state, but thanks to Corine, the life of the party, we seemed to never have a dull moment. BTW, you owe me a bag of licorice. I swear, every time I opened that thing she was on me like a polar bear on a wounded seal! I love you Corine, you were truly the greatest!!!

Sarah was our fearless leader. Talk about a tough job - it was always like herding kittens keeping track of all of the old people (me included). If she wasn't saying, "no Roger, you can't get out of the tundra buggy for a better picture", she was giving us all an education on the tundra, polar bears, and all things Churchill. She was a great host with tons of patience and a wonderful spirit about her.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these photos. I wish there had been some snow on the ground, but that's the beauty of nature, you can't control anything. We were just glad to put lenses on some bears as well as the other tundra friends we found.