Sun rising in the east as it transits the summit of Mount Thor. (The sun never really rises or sets, the earth just moves)

Discovering Auyuittuq National Park

3 Posted by - August 22, 2014 - Shop Talk
How does landscape affect our imagination? Don Runge and Donna Harris have added their own thoughts and pictures on the idea after a recent trip to Auquittuq National Park on Baffin Island.

In July 2014, Donna and I journeyed north from Ottawa to Baffin Island and Auyuittuq National Park. For 19 days, with stops in Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, and Qikitarjuaq, we traveled by outboard boat into fiords populated by icebergs, seals, whales, and polar bears. We hiked through river valleys, crossed glacier-fed rivers, boulder-strewn moraines, and gigantic hunks of granite cleaved from mountains that are still geologically active. We ate dehydrated food, drank 300-year-old, ice-cold, glacial stream water, breathed clean air, and slept under perpetual summer daylight. Some days were cold and wet; other days, sunny and warm.

Hazardous stream crossings are attempted early in the morning (5:00 a.m.) while the flow is least.

Hazardous stream-crossings are attempted early in the morning (5:00 a.m.) while the flow is at its lowest.      (click to enlarge)

Cocooned in our sleeping bags, we listened to mysterious laughter and voices but we repeatedly assured ourselves they were just the sounds of distant rushing water, or rock- and ice-falls. We walked through broad valleys past towering giants named after Norse gods, struggling to keep in perspective the vastness of the space around us, and the vanishing point ahead of us. It seemed to take much longer than we estimated, to reach landmarks we could see in the distance, on our journey.

Glenn Gould called it “The Idea of North“; Barry Lopez, an “Arctic Dream.” It is a land, they say, “that will never melt.”

This is our own take on this northern landscape: auyuittuqnationalpark.blogspot.ca

Donna and I . No one else for miles around. A selfie is the only option.

Donna and I . No one else for miles around; a selfie is our only option. (click to enlarge)

Nothing tastes better than just melted 300 year old glacial ice

Nothing tastes better than just-melted 300-year-old glacial ice. (click to enlarge)

Icebergs. Exotic shapes, imagination and desire.

Icebergs. Exotic shapes, imagination and desire. (click to enlarge)

Parks Canada emergency huts, built to withstand the worst weather and   polar bears.

Parks Canada emergency huts: built to withstand the worst weather and polar bears. (click to enlarge)

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