Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Countdown to Churchill

Ellen and Curtis (photo courtesy of Phyllis)

Steven's Make-A-Wish trip to Churchill is rapidly approaching. Next Sunday morning, somewhere around 4:30 am, a limousine will arrive at our house to take us to the airport to begin our adventure to view polar bears in their natural habitat.

We will be traveling to Churchill, a town on the Hudson Bay in the subarctic regions of Manitoba.

Our flight will take us to Winnipeg in Manitoba, where we'll have a 7-hour or so layover while we wait for the train that will take us over 1000 miles to Churchill. The train ride is 36 hours long and we will be spending two nights on the train.

During our layover, we will get to meet Ellen and her husband Curtis. Curtis and Ellen live in Winnipeg and we've gotten to know them through the magic of the internet. Ellen taught 10th grade in Winnipeg until about a year ago. She has metastic renal cell cancer which has failed to respond to treatment, but she's a tough lady and she's still in there fighting and we can't wait to meet them. They're both golfers like Doug and the boys, but this is the wrong time of year for golfing.

Once in Churchill, we will be taking a tour courtesy of Frontiers North. Two days in a tundra buggy, on our last day we'll get to go dog-sledding. If atmospheric conditions cooperate for us, maybe we'll get to see the northern lights, a longtime wish of Steven's. We'll fly back to Winnipeg and spend a night before flying home on Saturday November 5.

The polar bear photos at the top of the web page are courtesy of Frontiers North,the company who runs the tour we are doing, and the photos are taken from the tundra buggies, just like the ones we'll be riding in.

We are so excited. Pure magic, thanks to Make-A-Wish and the generous folks who donate to them, our friends at Solana Santa Fe Elementary School, and RA Sushi, whose owner lost a nephew to a brain tumor and who has contributed to our trip. Thank you, thank you, thank you...

- Kathleen

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