Monday, April 6, 2009

For the love of the Earth

After the Earth Watch teams left, things were quieter at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. After working with the teams and helping to maintain the other ongoing research (mercury rain collector, radio waves analysis, geomagnetic forces) for other institutions, the three of us science ladies (Carley, Lee Ann and I) from the Centre took a trip to York Factory National Historic Site, along with Leonard and Rodney, who were there as Parks Canada staff. We hopped on the train for a 12hr + train ride to Gillam, the next stop before Churchill going North on the rail line. It was a long rickety ride thanks to permafrost and undermaintained tracks, but the company I was with made it worthwhile. We spent the night at the only open motel in Gillam, which had the only restaurant in Gillam as well. Turns out that they closed the motel restaurant the night we were there, but thanks to the helicopter pilots we were flying with the next day, they invited us to their staffhouse for a bbq. A quick run to the grocery store and liquor mart made it into a fun little evening out.

After an early rise the next day, which happened to be my birthday, we discovered that the Gillam motel restaurant was still closed yet. With no helicopter pilots to the rescue, we broke into the coolers we had packed for our trip and had a feast of peanut butter and jam on bread. A 1hr helicopter flight brought us to our destination of the old Hudson Bay Company post called York Factory, now a National Historic Site. Us girls from the CNSC sampled snow for the better part of the afternoon before relaxing in the staffhouse. I was pleasantly surprised that evening with a sexy hubba hubba chocolate man-cake, fit with a banana, which I will leave to your dirty imaginations ;) While we were celebrating, the rest of the world, including my mom were lighting candles in honour of Earth Day – pretty cool, eh? Part of the York Factory historic buildings include the Depot, a big 2-story square-donut shaped building, with a lead roof. Inside, it is filled with artifacts, and reputed to be haunted (we checked at midnight, but as I expected, there was no evidence of ghosts).

After three sunny days with brilliant blue skies wit helicopters flying back and forth, and after hundreds of photos taken with my new Nikon D60 (thank-you mom :), we flew by chopper back towards Gillam, and into a snowstorm, go figure! By then, the Gillam restaurant was open, and we were able to have a greasy meal, and hung-out in the motel until the train came late at night, back to Churchill.

I had a few more days of work at the CNSC, but our trip to York Factory was indeed a grand finale to my seasonal contract with them.

No comments:

Post a Comment