After a long road trip and almost as long a journey by rail, we arrived in Churchill about 9:00 Saturday morning. Parker picked us up and ferried the six of us over to the Tundra Inn.
Once we were settled, we made our way over to his cabin on the flats by the Churchill River, where we enjoyed a rare hot day and did as little as possible. We got a few games of Timeline in, but for the most part we were content to sit and chat, watching belugas in the distance. Or inspecting the ice floes deposited on the flats by the departing tide.
Oh, and dodging 'bulldogs', the inch-and-a-half-long horseflies of northern Manitoba which can tear off a nickle-sized patch of flesh without warning, or deliver a painful bite right through your clothing.
The girls took out the canoe a couple of times, but Kara-Lynn and Glory joined Belinda and her Mum Val on a larger excursion right into the midst of a beluga pod.
Even the ride itself was a bit of an adventure, fording lakes and streams, and clambering over immense rocks.
Even bereft of wildlife, the tundra can be a strangely beautiful place, haunting and stark in some places, but with a closer look at a patch of scrub revealing intriguing and colourful wildflowers huddled close to the ground. Betty asked to stop numerous times in order to photograph the flora, which I think impressed Jim.
"With so many people it's just 'bear, bear, bear', and there is so much more out here to see. It's just sad that so many people simply don't get it." he craned his neck around to take everything in, then looked at us and grinned, saying, "I love my job."