Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Arctic Insanity

When I decided to go to the Arctic, I had no idea how fucking dangerous it was going to be. Well, all I can say is that I just had the most full on hardcore driving experience of my life. I was reading about the Dempster Hwy, the most northerly highway in North America, how it was a 700 km gravel highway that you drove to Inuvik, the capital of Eskimoland.

White Everything
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
No one told me that it was 700 kms of ICE.
No one told me that you had to have chains.
No one told me that it was so cold and white that you start hallucinating.
No one told me that the end of your dick starts to freeze when you take a piss.
No one told me that the sides of the road crumble like meringue if you drive too close to the edge.
No one told me that everyone drives a truck or a 4WD and I was going to be laughed at in my little secretary's car, my rented Chevvy Malibu.


All Terrain Vehicle
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
Well, now that I'm here, I can't believe that I made it alive. I nearly lost control too many times to mention. All I can say is thank god for my little Chevvy Malibu. That car is an unbelievable piece of machinery. Three times when I thought I was done for, some kind of self-righting mechanism kicked in and put the car back on track. And the secret ABS brakes saved my life at least half a dozen times.


Arctic Mountains 2
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
All that aside, I must admit that today I saw the most mindblowing, awesome scenery. Arctic landscapes that no photos can convey. There were moments when I couldn't belive what I was seeing. On a clear day, it wouldve been even more impressive, I'm sure. Lots of times, I couldnt even take photos because everything was white, and the camera couldnt pick up any detail. I mean everything. The sky, the road, the mountains, everything, all white. In fact, I had to wear sunglasses even though there was no sun, because all the white was blinding.


Arctic Sunset
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
So anyway, I made it. Its ridiculously cold (minus 22 when I last checked), and I am in the middle of nowhere, but I made it as far north as I could.

Now I'm going to bed

Bye.



Arctic White
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
Well, that was yesterday. Today I woke up to the reality that it had started to snow. People were talking last night about some big storm that was coming, and that the roads might get closed, so I packed my shit up and got the fuck out as quick as I could


Arctic White 3
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
Soon after I hit the road, the snow cleared up, and so did the sky, and I managed to get some nice snaps. The scenery was totally amazing. I mean, it was so absolutely different to anything I had seen before. The whiteness really made you start hallucinating full on.


Arctic White 2
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
Anyway, about 350 kms from the end, the snowstorm hit. It was an absolute bastard. It was so fucking hard to drive anyway, but when the storm came in, you couldnt see shit, and the road just became impossible. A Swiss guy had gone off the side, and he was in a fully equipped 4 Wheel Drive. He had his wife shovelling snow for him (legend), and asked me to get help.


Arctic Moonscape
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
I couldnt help laughing to myself at the irony of the situation. I mean, here is a Swiss guy, probably been driving on the snow his whole life, in a full on 4WD, with all the tools, and he is in the shit, asking me, a totally incompetent Aussie, first time on the snow/ice, in a rented secretary's car, with nothing but a camera and a computer, to get him out of the shit. Anyway, I told the next Eskimo I saw about him, and I think he went and sorted it out.


Road ?
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.

The last 200 kms was really tough. The car was going off the road all the time, and it was a battle to keep it from sliding off to the side. This became especially scary when I was driving alongside a lake where the ice was partially melted. I started imagining what it would be like to freeze to death in a Chevvy Malibu.


So Damn Cold
Originally uploaded by Mr. Chalk.
Well, in the end, I made it out alive. Now I am warm and safe, out of the arctic, and contemplating my next adventure. I didnt get to the north pole, but I did get pretty far north. I crossed the arctic circle, met plenty of Eskimos, couldnt find an Eskimo Pie, but all in all, I would say it was another success.

Whats next ? Any ideas ???

8 Comments:

At 9:46 AM, March 30, 2005, Anonymous penis envy said...

did you at least try to sell ice to the eskimos ?
For your next challenge , lets see how you go at the horse races in dubai

 
At 5:58 PM, March 30, 2005, Anonymous psycho said...

Is this all a reaction against the "wimp" slur?

 
At 11:09 PM, March 30, 2005, Blogger Mr. Chalk said...

no, its just my pioneering personality. you didnt know about that one, did you.....

 
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