Note: In August 2019 we traveled to Greenland and spent almost 2 weeks on the Arctic Circle Trail. Looking back now, almost 2 years later, the world has and continues to experience massive change in many ways. We think of our travels with extra fondness now, remembering what a privilege it is to travel so freely.
I swung my hiking poles up and down with vigor as I stamped my feet along the trail, trying to get some feeling back in my extremities. Still numb and had been since we had packed up camp 30 minutes earlier. It was Day 5 on the Arctic Circle Trail and every morning had started like this. Exiting the cocoon of our sleeping bags only to pull on almost every piece of clothing we had in the pre dawn light; long johns, hiking pants, wool undershirt, down vest, down jacket, a top sealing layer of full rain gear, winter mitts and a fuzzy toque. It really wasn’t that cold (having grown up in Prairie winters), maybe 5 degrees below 0, but living outside, above the Arctic Circle, with only the thin walls of the tent at night put the chill in our bones. Waddling around in our multiple layers, we’d take down camp and gulp down our warm oats and coffee before they too took on the morning chill. Shouldering our packs and beginning to hike, anticipating that moment when finally we’d feel some warmth back in our bones.
And here it was again this morning, the sun glinting over the tops of the mountains, its first rays hitting us with just enough heat to unzip the first layer of jackets. And as the sun rose, our bodies warmed increasingly faster; finally dumping our packs, peeling off every layer save for the last and basking in the warmth.
It is these moments that I will remember so fondly from my time in the Arctic-so tangible and so extreme. The warm feeling of the sun’s rays, the wildness and isolated landscape and the quiet; never having experienced such beauty in silence.
We spent 12 days in late summer 2019 hiking the Arctic Circle Trail. Below, our hike in 10 picturesClick Here to Keep Reading