From the Field: Farewell Churchill

Posted: September 15, 2011 - 13:37 , by royal

July 27

The weather forecast was pretty much on the money, and a dismal dawn yields to thunder-squalls rolling across the tundra. But, after breakfast and a second cup of coffee, the rain eases and we are a shade more optimistic about our flight out later this morning. Time for one last walkabout of our temporary home.

Window view of a mist covered treescape.

Last morning - view from the room. Our stay has been bracketed by rainy weather, but we managed to squeeze an amazing amount of work into the good days between!

After a meal, the crew hangs out at a local diner.

The crew - mixed emotions: looking forward to heading home - at the same time, more than a little reluctant to leave.

Under the spiral staircase looking up.

Up the spiral staircase to the aurora observation dome in the beautiful new Churchill Northern Studies Centre facility.

Left: A view of a polar bear skin. Right: Clipping telling the story of her death.

Bear X 11304 and part of her sad story.

Left: A view from the second floor down into the lobby. Right: A view of the glass dome.

Top left - Looking down on the brand-new lobby interior from the dormitory level walkway. Top right - Aurora observation dome from the second floor exterior deck (a safe place to get some air or catch a few rays).

A view out a window covered with raindrops out onto a darkened landscape.

One last rainy view over the old rocket range - from the aurora observation dome atop the new Studies Centre building.

A storm comes in over the landscape. Inset: View of a car dashboard with the service light on.

Two things you DON'T want to see as you’re on your way to the airport: engine warning lights and rapidly moving squalls (with lots of lightning)! Our good fortune holds, however, and we manage to drop the crew off, gas up in town one last time, and get the truck back to the terminal just as the weather begins to break.

Planes parked on the runway loading up with supplies and luggage before takeoff.

Our aircraft (at the rear) on the tarmac in Churchill ... more or less on time and loading for the next leg to Winnipeg. A final miracle of sorts - ALL of our baggage goes on board this time!

A view out the airplane window with clear skies!

View to the north-northwest over the townsite, the Port of Churchill, and the Churchill River estuary - a fair-weather departure and a promise to return!