Week 05 Hurry up!

Date Posted: 3.22.2010
Location: 44º54'N 92º47'W
Expedition Basecamp, Minnesota, USA
Weather Conditions: Sunny, 44°F (6°C)
…And wait. To hurry, and then have to patiently wait, is frankly typical Polar Husky style. Actually, so is “a change of plans.” The Polar Huskies loaded in their boxes on the dog truck; gear, equipment and food loaded in the trailer, our team busing down the road—that’s what we had hoped to report this week. But, its not so!


Though we had much great news in the last week, the final permission to enter Greenland with the Polar Huskies was not one of the emails that landed in Mille’s inbox. Traveling in the Arctic quickly teaches you that you should never postpone until tomorrow what can be done today. Thus, over the last many weeks, everyone at Basecamp has worked early mornings and late nights, every day of the week to make sure that we would be able to pull out of Expedition Basecamp on March 17, as planned, heading for the Air National Guard in Scotia, New York on the East Coast of the United States, to board a plane for Thule Air Base in Greenland on March 23!

[image left: Polar Husky Training Run]


[image right: The first loaded into the trailer was the sleds]

So, the trailer is ready for the last boxes to be moved into it, our last bags are sitting by the door, there is fresh straw in the dog boxes, and the Polar Huskies are still watching our every move… listening, howling, yawning... Spring officially arrived here on the calendar this weekend, this last week the temperatures went above plus 60º Fahrenheit (some 16º Celcius) – probably needless to say, the Polar Huskies are getting antsy!

Now, though we are "ready to go" any minute, we two-legged team members are not exactly sitting around twiddling our thumbs. The list of to-do’s still seems endlessly long; as plans change, logistics change! New scenarios must be planned and set into action. “If not running across the yard to let us know of the latest change and how we should now adjust for it, Mille is pretty much on the phone all hours of the day (and night), that is if not typing up a storm, or actually passed out in front of the computer screen!” says Andrea.

[image left: Before loading the trailer, first we had to get it out of the mud!?]

Watch “Operation Mud"
Explore how Neighbor Gerry came to the
rescue… How did we get the trailer out
of the mud?

The fact is that the list of “to do’s” seems to be growing! In part, this is because many tasks must be dealt with within a certain time line of departure. We are going to another country! Thus we must make absolutely certain we show utmost respect for the customs and cultures once we are there, and also we must follow every rule, law and requirement before we ask and as we set out to enter the country!

         Dr. Hunter checking up on the Polar Huskies
       with Mille

Our local veterinarian Dr. Hunter came out to give the Polar Huskies the last checkup, which must happen within 14 days of departure from the Kennel at Expedition Basecamp here in Minnesota—to sign off on the health of the Polar Huskies. By now when not on a training run, the Polar Huskies are digging in the dirt and rolling in last year's weeds, as there is not a trace of snow or ice left.


Watch Trigger take a dose of preventive
wormer like a treat!


Listen to learn how to say “Sila” in Kalaallisut. The Greenlandic word means weather and climate, but it also describes the connection between human and nature!
  Watch Aaron report from Baffin Island in Canada where he is this week to work with students on what climate change is to them – like we will be doing in Greenland!

You may remember that we wrote last week that many places in Greenland, like Uummannaq, have no sea ice right now as they should have at the time of the year. If you join the chat on Friday March 26th at 1 PM CT you can talk to famous Dutch sculptor Ap Verheggen who is actually there right now. Ap is setting a huge sculpture he made onto a floating iceberg so that the world (and you!) will be able to track it online as it travels south and melts! The sculpture represents a dogsled and Ap is doing this to make people around the world think about what it means to traditional cultures in Greenland if their place changes--as in, there is no sea ice in the midst of Arctic winter... because of a changing climate!


Talking about places and what “our place” means to each one of us, even if your creations are not quite as breathtaking as a sculpture by Ap, be sure to go to the Culture Zone and post about your customs and place on Earth! Oh, and on that note: Next Saturday is Earth Hour! Turn off the lights with the rest of us at 8:30 at night – no matter where you are on earth! Take a picture of you in the dark :) and share that in the Zone too! Check out Trigger’s Tweet from Friday to learn more…

Listen to learn how to pronounce the name of the
Greenlandic flag: “Erfalasorput”

[image left: Flags of Greenland from Bayfield Elementary School!]

       Polar Husky Superstar Luna

While Trigger tweets (and Beacon blogs), quite possibly the loudest Polar Husky in the yard today, is this week’s first Polar Husky Superstar, Luna. That, while she is also one of the smallest! Luna is simply one tightly wound up ball of enormous energy, always on the lookout for excitement… “What’s new, what’s next, let’s run, let’s do, me, me, me, I am over here, let’s go faster, let’s play, I am bored!” Yes, Luna gets quite easily bored. So, imagine her by now as the snow has melted and everything is packed! Loud and wonderfully crazy, Luna is strategically placed on the opposite end of her brother Yoik in the dog yard.

Polar Husky Superstar Yoik  


Watch 'to go on a hot training run' with the Polar Huskies – while we wait!

This week’s other Polar Husky Superstar, Yoik not only is a look-a-like with his sister. They very much ‘act-alike,’ too, and frankly, if anyone is to compete with Luna for the title of loudest, most wound-up, always-ever-happy, it would be Yoik. Just like Luna, Yoik can still get quite bored when pulling the sled on the trail, but with both of them we have no doubt that they will grow out of that as they mature and get more expeditions under their paws. Just as we have no doubt they are both sure to become the first to howl on many a morning on the expedition trail, once we get that far. Hopefully that’s soon... The Polar Huskies are howling for it!