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Thank you again for sharing your enthusiasm for this fascinating place - Adventure Vacation

What a wonderful time I had exploring the Big Muddy Lake area and the St. Victor Petroglyphs with Great Excursions!

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Reviews

Once upon a time...

By Kenneth R. Lister

2009-11-26

On August 30, 1818, the HMS Isabella on a voyage to discover the Northwest Passage entered Lancaster Sound. But her captain, Sir John Ross, deciding that he had entered a bay
enclosed by mountains turned his ship around and continued south. Ross was severely criticized and as we sat in our ship’s lounge and studied the map showing that massive body of water we could not help but be perplexed. But, on a clear afternoon standing on deck scanning the waters of Davis Strait we were all astonished to see before us a range of mountains where our map
indicated safe sailing. Was Sir John Ross also tricked by the “arctic mirage”? Standing on the quarterdeck of the Isabella in unknown waters would we have made a more reasoned decision?

Twenty-eight years later, and through Lancaster Sound, Sir John Franklin lowered the body of Petty Officer, John Torrington, into the permafrost of Beechy Island. And 160 years after that, with the sun low as our zodiac nosed on to that very beach, the long shadow thrown by Torrington’s grave marker gave a tense beauty to the mottled, greyish tone of the tundra. A long streak of darkness slicing the sun-drenched beach like a stain signified the clash of culture and landscape. And seventy-eight years after John Torrington was laid to rest, and closer to the mouth of Lancaster Sound, the Dundas Harbour
RCMP post was established in response to concerns over Canadian sovereignty. As we walked down the rock-strewn slope toward the small cluster of abandoned buildings and idled some time in the now empty rooms we sensed the cold and isolation that was experienced there. A sewing machine resting on the sill of a broken window induced us to walk the rooms in silence.

The Arctic is a landscape that invites realignment. No other place I know so shapes one’s sense of self as when faced with its vastness. Wide expanses of twittering cotton grass and soaring cliffs speckled withThick-billed Murres inspire the imagination yet alter one’s understanding of personal place. And it is not only our reaction to the vastness of the landscape; it is also the evidence of a human presence lying on the
surface in peril from our very footsteps that inspire realignment. Stroll along an Arctic beach and you will be in the company of countless generations who have come before.



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