Greetings from Churchill! As we approached this morning I was struck by how different the tundra looked. It was less snowy, more brown, and much more wet than I had imagined.
As we deplaned we were greeted by amazing Polar Bears International staff members who quickly distributed warm parkas before taking us for our first glimpse of the beautiful Hudson Bay. I immediately smelled that salty ocean smell and heard the crash of the waves which felt a bit odd considering I was bundled up. Here I am with my roommate, Jasmine Hestad from Canada's Edmonton Valley Zoo.
We continued our adventure by boarding Frontier North Adventures Tundra Buggy to see the tundra up close. Our journey took a little over four hours, but we only traveled 9.5 miles. The "road" was rough and covered by water in many places, plus we were often stopping to see wildlife - snow buntings, ptarmigans, ducks, and, yes, polar bears. Though we will hopefully have much closer encounters in the days to come, we saw seven bears from a distance. Breathtaking, amazing, and awesome!
You might think that our day couldn't get any better, but just as we were wrapping up our study session we heard that the aurora borealis were making an appearance.