Our tundra buggy pulled itself slowly over orange lichen-covered rocks and boulders, through bogs and small lakes. Two cubs nearly as big as their mother, sparred and played until they were out of sight. Two others tested their way across the ice. One put his front quarters down, pushing himself along a snow patch, “Oh yeah, that feels soooo gooood.”
The heated tundra buggy had seats, washroom, a railed outside observation deck, and windows we opened for that perfect shot. Curiosity brought some bears upright and we were glad for the six-foot high, all-terrain tires. Out of forty bears, the last was the biggest and most magnificent. He wallowed through a snowbank, shook snow from his plush coat, and gave us a show. He was magnificent. He pushed a little more snow, rolled in it, and stretched. We enjoyed his day almost as much as he did.
We hoped our cold-weather activities neutralized the calories in the homemade rolls, desserts, stews, and ribs. The all-you-could-eat creations were made from scratch and buttered into pure deliciousness. Designated groups took turns cleaning tables and washing dishes.
On our fifth night, the staff gave a farewell wine and cheese party. Afterward, a few diehards remained. Rupert explained his dream of building an Environmental Education Centre. When he isn’t lecturing at the Centre, he lives sans electric and other amenities in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains.
The last morning, new friends departed for the two-day train trip to Winnipeg or the airport to wherever home existed. As for me, a RV awaited my return to Texas. I climbed to the observation dome for one last look before spending my remaining three solo days wandering Churchill, Canada’s only Arctic seaport.
Ghostly white tundra buggies stole silently across Hudson Bay’s grey horizon in the blowing snow. Black Taiga, the land of little sticks, outlined frozen lakes and bogs. A road disappeared toward Twin Lakes, the end of one of Churchill’s few roads, none connecting with mainland Manitoba roads.
I found beauty in the starkness. It was desolate, yet wonderful and exciting, another dimension of God’s creation. I will remember it forever, along with other fantastic experiences I have been privileged to live as part of my full-time RVing lifestyle. God Bless until Next Week!)
Winter in the Wilderness, (e-book & hard cover), and the fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada are available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”