Sunday, April 09, 2006

Long Walk Home

My principal asked me the other day if I preferred taking my skidoo over flat terrain or hills. This got me thinking about all the crazy adventures I've had with it. (Luckily I can laugh about them now.) I've taken to referring to my skidoo, a sleek 2004 Bombardier Skandic 550, as the Black Bullet, though on some days I call it other names which I really shouldn't repeat here.

I responded to my principal's question by saying I preferred flat sea ice where I can run flat out and have little fear of hitting anything. Arctic Bay is quite hilly and I've learned there are hills I can climb and some that are better left to experts. Actually my skidoo has made it up most of the hills around town - the problem was that I was not always still on my skidoo when it reached the top!

Last spring after traveling all 4 or 5 roads of Qikiqtarjuaq I began looking for more of a challenge. I enjoyed heading out on the ice where I would travel a few miles up to the north tip of the island to see the icebergs and the odd seal. One afternoon I managed to get stuck in some rough ice and after several minutes of trying to pull my machine free I resigned myself to a long walk back to town. (The thought that I was the only edible thing for polar bears popped into my mind.) Now walking for 10 miles over sea ice under a hot sun is not something you want to try. Even though this is a land of ice and snow for much of the year, it can get quite warm out on the ice under a clear blue sky. I saw an iceberg in the distance and decided I would head for it and rest there before continuing.

Well it didn't look that far problem. An hour later I finally reached it, dripping with sweat and very thirsty, and found I had company. As luck would have it, three ladies from town had come out to the 'berg to catch some sun (don't worry, its not THAT type of story). I still remember our conversation like it was yesterday.

Me - "For the love of God, am I ever glad to see you guys!"
Them - "Darcy, what the heck are you doing way out here?"
"Uh, why are you walking?"
"Where's your skidoo?"

"Way the hell back there," I pointed meekly.

Luckily for me the 3 ladies I bumped into were the town social worker, the nurse and the RCMP corporal. Three of the exact people you'd want to run into in a situation like this.

"Well ladies, should we girls help this guy out?," one asked the others. Fortunately they took pity on me and the 4 of us managed to rescue my poor skidoo. It can run over a small ledge of ice and was lodged in at such a crazy angle it was difficult to pull on the cord to start it. We soon managed to lasso the back and pull it out much to my relief.

"Now, just remember," I said on the triumphant return back to town, "please, not a word about this to anyone."


Uvannga said...

That must've been fun :)
You should try Nanisivik Hill's too. Lot's of fun.