Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Whitewashed World

Last night some serious weather blew into Iqaluit. The wind howled along at 80 to 100kmph the whole night, and it was a total whiteout! This morning the wind was still blowing, and it was hard to tell if it was snowing, or if the wind was just blowing the snow around. There were drifts everywhere, and no visability so the town was closed down. I made it into the hospital, since it is only about 500m from my apartment, but I did bring my cell phone and GPS just in case, and when I was out there I really couldn't see more than about a foot in front of me.
Iqaluit in many ways is still a frontier sort of place, and it sometimes seems like it's on the edge of the world, or at least on the edge of the part people should be living on. It makes me think of the cold in my favorite Robert Service poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee"
On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way
Over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold
It stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze
Till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one
To whimper was Sam McGee.

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