Jonathan and Kirti Walpole's 950 km canoe journey across Northwest Territories and Nunavut in July and August of 2014

Last day in Baker Lake

In the morning we organized and dried our stuff before packing it into bags for our flight out. We also separated out a couple of weeks of extra food, fuel canisters, air horn and bear spray to donate to the local people.

After organizing our stuff we spent some time exploring Baker Lake. It is interesting to see how people live up here. There are snow machines and sleds lying around on the tundra just waiting for a different season. There are also huge snow fences all across the back of town to stop the snow drifting too deep. Apparently, it used to completely cover the houses, not even leaving the roofs visible. Many houses have ATVs and cars even though there is just a mile or so of road, and none of it paved. People zip back and forth on their ATVs at break-neck speeds. The people are wonderfully friendly and welcoming.

In the afternoon we flew out of Baker Lake to Rankin Inlet on Hudson Bay. We were the only passengers on the flight to Rankin Inlet, and enjoyed a large plane all to ourselves with our own personal flight crew. The flight from Rankin Inlet to Yellowknife was slightly busier, but it was a large jet and we had no problem getting a window seat. No sign of any security on these flights -- just walk up and get on the plane. Life is wonderfully simple up here, and the people are amazingly friendly. I think the far north is the last bastion of true civilization.

With luck we will start our drive home tomorrow. It all depends on whether the only road out of Yellowknife is open yet. It has been closed for long periods (days at a time) over the past month, due to forest fires, and people have been stranded. .... the rest of Canada has been isolated!