Tuesday, December 15, 2009
From barefoot running to ice road truckin'!
Life’s rarely simple nor is it without it’s moments of "intensity". During the first hour of driving on the surface of the ice, the engine temperature gauge dropped to a just a hairbreadth above the “blue line”. Being a weekend, David had warned that we might not see any one else, so to be extra careful. Fact is, we didn’t see a "soul", either way. Clearly, a frozen river, several hundred kilometers above the Arctic Circle, was no place to break down, with no one around and no luxury of southern cell service! The cab heater, however, continued to pump out "mild" air that kept the chill off and we decided to relax and enjoy the “journey”. Even though the forecast had not indicated any change in the weather, we knew that the unpredictable Arctic wind could rise anytime and eliminate visibility. Ahh, a little tension always makes things more “exciting“. The pressure ridges, formed by the continuous motion of the ice, and forced by wind and water stresses, were within a kilometre of David’s estimated location. Easing our way over them, we could well imagine the possibility of a “launch” at higher speeds!
We stopped, on occasion, turned off the engine briefly, and marveled at the depth and strength of the ice. In places, we could even see the river bubbling beneath us.The absolute stillness, the deep cold, the aloneness gave us a sense of being in the most remote place in the world…and it was so very, very beautiful.