Queen Elle and John

by John Huston

Today we had an off day on April 12th, Day 13 of the expedition.

It was supposed to be our resupply day where a twin otter airplane chartered by us would land with our resupply, and then continue north to Eureka to drop the rest of our supplies there. But we had a white out this morning, which is low clouds descending into our camp and we couldn’t see a darn thing all day. So we are sitting here hoping to get the resupply tomorrow.

We’re at the mouth of Trold Fjord, which was first navigated by Otto Sverdrup back in 1901. And as far as we know few, if any, people have navigated through Trold Fjord to the north all the way to land and up since then. So we’re kind of excited about that. It’s a steep long fjord. We’re hopeful of some more wildlife, and we’ll be in there for, I don’t know, at least 5 or 6 days, most likely. It’s one of the kind of crux points of our expedition.

Today’s photo, or one of them, is of me and our queen. She is named Elle after Ellesmere Island. She is the friendliest Inuit dog you’ll ever meet. She and I have been skijor partners since the get-go, and most of that time up front leading The New Land 2013 train. Elle’s, I guess, the most natural lead dog that we have in the group, and we have one or two other candidates as well, but she’s done a good job. She’s super friendly. Sometimes we take her off leash and she runs around camp or the trail and says hi to everybody, so it’s fun to have that kind of peppy, puppy-like presence. She’s 3 years old and she’s really good at rolling over, and lying on her back, and sticking her paws in the air requesting belly rubs, and that sort of thing. I feel lucky to be skiing with Elle, but we’ll change it around as we move forward in the expedition.

Yesterday we skied across Dahlman Fjord to the mouth of Trold Fjord and on the way we came across a lone wolf and we got some pretty good photographs and a lot of good video of it walking along the sea coastline and that was pretty awesome. And then we got to camp and we were greeted by a polar bear. It never really got closer than 250 yards, but it did take some time to kind of watch to make sure it didn’t get closer. So, so far our dreams of Ellesmere Island wildlife have been realized and we’re happy about that. OK, hopefully we’ll see a plane pretty soon!

Daily Expedition Data
Date: 4/13/13, Day 14
Location: N78°04', W85°32'
Traveled: 0 hours, 0 miles
Temperatures: 14°F am, 14°F pm