The Amazing Adventures of Larry and Mark
Part 9 - US - The Arctic
Imagine Cape Cod water at its coldest, and here it is mid-summer and
34 degrees. (at least on the calendar.)
When we got here at the end of August there was no ice, giving us the
wrong impression. Apparently, ice-out
up here isn't until early July. Some sport fishermen will fish from
shore, but the coastal shelf is quite shallow
here, and we got not a single bite from the char. I did lose quite a
few lures on the rocky bottom.
We had anticipated the risks of interacting with the wild animals, and
being in the middle of some dangerous situations. Mark wasn't in any
of losing his life, but some of the artwork in this shop would have
endangered Mark's wallet. Good thing this guy was labeled "for
I would not have liked to run into this guy on the ice. We had
originally thought we were going to
take a boat many miles away from Cambridge Bay, and set up in tents.
This might have made
us a more possible target for a bear. However, we ended up in the
small cabin, which didn't
expose us to the inclement weather or animals.
"Stay low." That's what Mark kept telling me as I'm trying to crawl
over the sharp rocks to get his pictures. And this cameraman didn't
even get paid!
I didn't really ever drive this quad. I just wanted the picture. I
figure going down a
steep bumpy slope on skis is a lot safer than trying to drive one of
these through all the rocks.
Someone had set out their finest furniture on the shore, so we stopped
for a bit to appreciate the scenery. Later on, we came back.
We set up the coffee table, and a party of wine and cheese and
as charter members of the "Nunavut Wine Tasters Club."
We had brought with us a nice bottle of German Ice Wine to toast our
The wine was, however, already gone by this point and we couldn't get
So I substituted "Grape Tang." After all, who's going to know if I
don't tell anyone?
An excellent nose, good legs, and a long finish. I'm talking
about the wine,
Part 10 - The People and Language
We really didn't hear any Inuktitut spoken. Everyone up there speaks
English, except perhaps
for the "oldest elders," and maybe those Inuit living north of
Cambridge Bay area has been highlighted in yellow.
The visitor center we stopped at in Cambridge Bay (with the standing
polar bear) had a lot
of information on the land and language. This little poster is a
"Rosetta's Stone" for
reading the Inuktitut alphabet.
This is a photo of a photo which showed a family scene which I
thought was interesting.
It's not very old, considering the Thermos bottles. Everyone is in
their winter skins and
fur, but this must be spring because of the child without mittens on
and full sunshine
with the sun up at least halfway in the sky. If you've ever stood
for a photo facing the
sun while in a snow scene you know how bright it must be.
I had to take a photo of a photo that was hanging on a wall. It
tells me a lot. These snow goggles
carved out of bone are how the Inuit have dealt with bright snow
conditions for the many generations
before the advent of sunglasses. But as a dentist, what struck me
immediately in this picture, as well as
on the faces of my guide, his mother, and some kids walking down the
street: how obviously
crowded their teeth were! These isolated Inuit villages don't see a
dentist very often, and when
they do, the children have a lot of decayed baby teeth extracted
instead of filled, and the
premature loss of teeth results in the spaces closing up, and when the
new teeth come in, they
are crowded! When we were walking through town, one of the few non-Inuits
we met was a
woman who was a dental assistant! She was there with her
dentist-employer who came up from
Saskatchewan to work in a well-equipped clinic they have up there.
This was another illustration on the wall of the town hall.
Everyone goes everywhere on quads.
We visited the house of a man who was known as an expert in tanning arctic
and carving. He brought out a string of furs for Mark to make an offer.
He then showed us some beautiful carvings (ivory or horn) on top of the
vertebra of a whale
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