Canadian Arctic—1974

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Slide 1 — Resolute from the air, May 1974

Although I had prepared myself for the trip to the High Arctic—read about its history, animals and environment, I had not expected the environmental and cultural shock I felt when I stepped off the Pacific Western Airlines 737 in Resolute Bay after a long flight from Edmonton. First, one doesn't realize just how big Canada is and how much of that size is the Arctic until you get on a plane and make the journey. In those days, it took most of a day to fly from Edmonton to Resolute, including a stop at Cambridge Bay. Second, the completely barren landscape above the Arctic Circle, totally devoid of trees and shrubs, takes some getting used to. There's little shelter from the wind and cold and no wood for a fire. Third, we were working out of a small village that was totally focused on servicing the petroleum industry. All day and all night, Hercules (C-130) aircraft would take off about every 20 minutes with loads of supplies and fuel for the petroleum exploration camps in the surrounding archipelago.

Slide 2 — Canada is a big country (second only to Russia in size) and the Arctic is a big portion of the country. Resolute is 2500 kilometres (1550 miles) from Edmonton. (Google Map © 2018)

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