6 Mar, 2008
It is the departure morning, and though there are many things to do, I am going back and forth between my hotel room and the garage where the sleds and all the equipments are, without being able to put hands of anything. Then, Mike shows up at the entrance and stops me. 'You will see the best sun rise today. Hop on!'
I have been looking forward to going up to the hill to see the sun rise as he promised me since 5 days ago, but one time, Mike was tied up with work, and other times, too cloudy or even blizzard have prevented our plan, and it ended up today. But if we go up to the top of the hill, we should be able to see the route which Ohba and Nagatani will be taking, so I go fetch them and we all jump in his car .
Morning of March 6
As we reach the top of the hill, the round shinning sun rises over the thinly snow-covered plain. The sky is burning 360 degree, brightening people's faces making them look almost strangely beautiful. We find that the wind has blown the snow away and the rocky terrain around the hotel is exposed and too hard on the sleds. Then we decide to change the plan to have us put 3 kilometers further up near the river together with the sleds.
Town of Resolute Bay from the sea-ward. Large building in center to the left is a school, and the tall building to the right is the hamlet office.
Finally, the time for departure. The faces of the two truly look good in the view finder of the video. They are the faces with bright smiles of those who are full of anticipations, and the determination to go on. As I see them off on the vast snowy plain until they have become two black dots, it became so cold that my fingers went numb.
Having relieved to have sent them off, I also feel excited with anticipations. On the way back, Mike took me here and there, drove me around Resolute Bay.
The remains of ancient Inuit house made by whale bones. It is supposed to be 500 years old, but recent study says it maybe even 2,000 years old. Animal hides were used to cover the frame of the house.
Sled dogs. These three are juvenile of less than one year old.
Ravens gather old dumpster. They look too fat to be able to fly.
"You guys... if we had left 5 minutes earlier, we could have seen an incredible sun rise". Mike condemns us regretfully. After that, all day long, Mike gives me hard time every time he sees my face. It was too bad we missed the moment the sun was born, but it was the perfect departure of the exploration blessed by the beautiful weather we could not expect more for.