An Iceberg Off of Ellesmere Island

An Iceberg Off of Ellesmere Island

by John Huston

We have successfully crossed Eureka Sound and a few small cracks in the ice along the way and have now reached our final campsite of the expedition and our pickup flight is scheduled for sometime on Monday, weather pending.

So in honor of our last campsite and a little bit of celebration that's going on, we have another edition of the New Land 2013 Expedition Fun Facts, featuring Toby, Kyle, Hugh and myself and Elle the dog who is in the tent helping us celebrate at the moment. OK, after the facts there will be a few more blogs and you can follow us on the plane and then onward toward home. So Toby is going to start off the expedition facts session. Here you go, Toby.

Toby: Thank you.

  • So, the first fun fact is the number of cups of coffee that I’ve drunk during the trip and the total number is 147.
  • And the number of days that I have skied with Napu is 64 so that is almost all the days of the entire trip.
  • And my favorite section of the trip must be our way through Trold Fjord and the Trold Fjord passage. (And that was just Napu screaming in the background if you heard that).
  • My favorite thing to do while skiing is to look for wildlife. I do that constantly.
  • And my favorite springtime gear has been the Bergans Active Light Jacket and Devold Wool Mesh Top.
  • Now some of you might remember, I weighed in at 209 pounds at the airport in Ottawa before the trip after I successfully had gained a lot weight before the trip. My weight today at Eureka Weather Station was 186 pounds.
Toby & Elle Relax in the Tent

Toby & Elle Relax in the Tent

John: Next up with his rendition of expedition facts is Kyle.

Kyle: Hello, my expedition facts

  • The number of gigabytes of memory I've used so far on this trip is one terabyte.
  • The number of books I've read on my Kindle is five.
  • The number of times I’ve fallen due to the overzealous Axel pulling me over is at least 15.
  • Lessons, two lessons, I’ve learned from polar travel:
  1. The first is to get really angry when you’re warming your hands by waving them around. That's the only way to do it sometimes.
  2. And the second lesson is that the devil is in details. Do the small things properly.
  • And the number of hours I've spent looking through the camera viewfinder so far is roughly 45.
  • And I can’t read John’s handwriting. Back to John.

John: OK, next up with his facts before we get to myself and then the dogs’ facts, is Hugh Dale-Harris. By the way, Hugh likes dogs.

Hugh: OK, let’s see here,

  • The number of times I've crooned, “Little Larry,” to Larry, at the start of each travel day, about 20 or more.
  • Walks on the land I’ve taken, at least 26.
  • Number of times I have rolled the tent neatly, at least 45.
  • Typical number of sleds pulled in the second half of the expedition that would be 3. Back to John.

John: Hugh is a real good sled puller and a good eater.

John: All right, facts for myself, John Huston,

  • Favorite section of the trip is Trold Fjord and overland crossing following it.
  • Total number cups of coffee I drank the whole time is four cups, all decaf.
  • Number of spices I typically add to meals is three to five, which will always include salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, and then some others sometimes.
  • Number of nicknames I give to my skijor companion Elle, that's unlimited. She gets a lot of different nicknames.
  • Number of days I say to myself, “Wow, I really love to ski,” is every single day, so that would be 66 or 65.
  • And what occupies my mind during travel days is route finding.
  • Then lastly is the maximum number of chocolate bars, 630 calories each, that I ate in one day was five, the record equaled by Mr. Kyle O’Donoghue.

John: OK, up next we have facts for our dogs, so I’ll just continue with Elle

  • Elle’s favorite morning routine, get let off the chain and jump in the tent to wake everybody up.
  • Her favorite thing to do while on the ski march is to follow rabbit tracks and fox tracks in random directions.

Next up we have Toby with Napu.

Toby: OK, so,

  • Napu’s favorite time to bellow in control of me is just before the dogs are getting fed and that is usually right when we pull into camp and we put them on their chains and they know exactly what is going to happen and Napu lets us all know that he wants to get fed right away.
  • And Napu is also hereby awarded the award for digging the most and the biggest holes in camp.

Kyle: All right, here are my main facts for Axel

  • His main role on this trip with me has been my assistant director of filmmaking as he loves to sit under the tripod when I get off to film.
  • The number of times he has stopped on first command, zero.

Hugh: OK, Larry,

  • # of times he's honked his horn per day, that’s what we call when he barks when we’re stopping & he wants to get going, 60.
  • Favorite thing to do at breaks, he loves to go and hang out with his sister Elle and John upfront.

John: OK, thanks everybody. So we’re enjoying our final days on the ice and we're looking forward to coming home soon. Thanks for listening.