So today was our last day on the trail. I think we’re all feeling a little tired after 90+kms of walking. The trek today was the toughest in a few days as the river flattens out and braids across the bottom of the Weasel River Valley forcing us to hunt for clean ice in between pulling through patches of mixed snow, sand and gravel (sand is the worst). We covered 13.2kms, our longest so far, to finish at the Ulu shelter where we are now snacking on butter and crackers before the last of our dehydrated dinners. Tomorrow we will be picked up by snowmobile from one of the local outfitters and taken back to Pangnirtung.
We crossed the Arctic Circle this morning heading south about a kilometre out of last night’s camp. It’s a large rock cairn topped with an Inukshuk and a Parks Canada sign.
Reflecting on our trip, we have to be grateful that the weather has been exceptionally good. We’ve had blue skies pretty much every day, temps that started very cold but have warmed up to a manageable cold, and only a couple of days of high winds (although that has been enough to give our tent a serious beating). Apart from sore knees and hips and Angus’ case of polar cheek, we’ve all stayed healthy and injury free. The wilderness through which we have travelled has been humbling, a valley of rocky peaks and frozen rivers and rapids. I think we will all take away with us the peace and immense silence of this magical place.