19 April 2007

Rocky, rugged terrain, snow science, a first visit to a confluence, and a herd of musk-oxen slowed the progress of SnowSTAR today as they moved through the Barrenlands. Still, they managed to make 93 km today and are camped tonight at the base of an esker on the Hanbury River. The Hanbury River was named for another famous Barrenlands Pioneer David Hanbury. Tomorrow the Expedition hopes to hit the Thelon River, which they will follow all the way to their finish in Baker Lake. They are currently two full days ahead of their posted schedule. Tonight, from the comfort of camp 35, we have Soundclips from Arvids (Speaking fluent Canadian) and Henry (Speaking not-quite-fluent Spanish). Enjoy.

Click Here for Arvids in "Canadian"

Click Here for Henry in Espanol

Musk-oxen and A Confluence!

Hanbury River, NWT

Camp 35 Location: 63º 46'N,   106º 42'W

Weather: Overcast and almost a white-out, -6ºC, wind out of the east
Distance Today: 93 km (58 miles)

Musk-oxen and A Confluence!

Remember the Confluence Project (www.confluence.org)?  That is where you go
to where latitude and longitude lines cross and if you are the first to go
there, you can register it and provide pictures of the spot that are put on
the website.  Well, up to now we weren't that successful at reaching any
(largely thanks to poor conditions), despite the fact that we are traveling
in remote country and several confluences were available (i.e., had not
previously been visited).  Well, today we managed to visit the confluence at
64ºN, 108ºW.  We dedicate this confluence to Ms. Faulk's class Dwyer High
School in Jupiter, Florida.  They have been patiently waiting for us to
visit a confluence.    We will formally register the confluence once we
finish the trip.  Hey, Ms. Faulk's class: thanks for hanging in there!

And we got a rare treat at the confluence..we saw a band of musk-oxen.
These creatures graze on the tundra, seeking out wind-blown areas where the
snow is not deep.  The herd will bunch together for defense from wolves and
other predators.  The hair of the musk-ox is incredibly insulative, which is
good since they live in cold and windy country.  When spun into yarn, their
hair is called qiviut, and it is as soft and warm as down.  It was very
exciting to see these creatures.



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