Thursday, March 29, 2018

Journey to the Northern Lights: Lessons Learned

I've been back in Tucson for three days. Here's what I'm remembering from my journey to Churchill, Manitoba, to see the Northern Lights.
  • Dogsledding is FUN. Not just for the people in the sled, but also for the dogs. Our outfitter had 26 dogs and every one of them was excited when they saw the sleds getting set up. 

  • If you have the proper clothing, you can handle the weather.

  • The camera's eye sees the Northern Lights as green. The human eye, just barely.
Photo by Ron Waldron, taken 3/22/2018

Painting at the Itsanitaq Museum, Churchill, Manitoba

  • You remember studying the Hudson Bay Company and the fur trade when you were in school 50 years ago. You didn't realize you'd be standing on the shore of the Hudson Bay in winter.

  • If some people meet a competitive hula hooper in the airport, it's hard to resist giving it a try themselves.

    • If your traveling companion comes down with pneumonia, it may be up to you to get you both home a day early. It may be hard if you have to call United Airlines in the middle of the night from Winnipeg, but you don't have a Canadian phone, and the international phone call button on your nightstand at the Hilton Airport Suites doesn't work. If you're lucky you may be able to talk United out of the $155 per person change fee. But you won't be able to talk United out of a $330 per person additional charge for the only two remaining seats on the earlier flight. Nor will you be able to collect on your trip interruption travel insurance, because when you bought it you said you were coming home a day earlier than you actually planned. So you decide to be grateful to have the money for the extra airfare.
    • You didn't realize how much you'd learn during the Road Scholar trip about astronomy, and the Northern Lights, and climate change, and the life of the polar bear.
    What a great trip!


      joeh said...

      Did not know that about the northern lights. Hope your travel companion is all right.

      Sally Wessely said...

      What an adventure you had! Lessons learned reflection gave us all insight into how you always manage to shed light on the greater purpose in travel: gaining new knowledge.

      DJan said...

      I do hope your friend is all recovered from pneumonia. It sounds like it was a wonderful trip otherwise. I didn't know that about dogs that pull sleds; I'm glad they enjoy it, too. :-)

      Janette said...

      Another great trip! Northern lights are on my bucket list. Glad to get info as on what to expect. Spectacular!

      Mona McGinnis said...

      I've never been on a dog sled but I do know that animals anticipate their "work". I've seen it in performance horses. It's been said that the difference between a good and bad winter day is the right clothing - layers and the boots that are rated for -40C/F. I've stood in my yard and marvelled at the night sky that includes the northern lights. I can't help but think that I'm fortunate to live where I live in NE Alberta.

      Arkansas Patti said...

      Not long recovered from pneumonia myself. Can't imagine dealing with it while traveling. Hope he is fine now.
      Envy the dog sledding. Every picture I've seen the dogs have big grins on their faces. They do seem to love it.

      Sasha + Saku said...

      Sounds like you had a wonderful trip, with the exception of the last couple of days. Hope your travelling companion is recovering from the pneumonia.

      In any event, you've had an experience to remember.

      Jayne said...

      really enjoyed reading about your trip! we're hoping to experience dog sledding in Alaska later this year. Hope your friend is improving, I've had pneumonia twice & can't imagine having to travel with it.

      Dee said...

      Dear Linda, somehow you always give us a posting in which we learn new things and in which your gratitude for your life runs like a ribbon or a thread throughout your story. Thank you. Peace.