Bear-Spotting & “Dog Carting” in Churchill

Our final day in Churchill, Manitoba was definitely one for the books!

We woke up that morning of October 10th, had a delicious homemade breakfast and started packing up our room in preparation for the next adventure. We heard some excited commotion downstairs at the B&B and upon investigation, it turns out some of our housemates had spotted a polar bear strolling around town out by Cape Merry! Lucky for us, Jen kindly offered to give us a lift in her work truck out to Cape Merry to meet the others who had already loaded into the van with Gerald.

On our way to Cape Merry, we passed by 2 rambunctious red foxes and when we arrived at the Bluesky van, we spotted the curious polar bear roaming around the rocks on the other side of the road. We watched him wander along the rocks and then down the road to sniff some boats docked along the roadside. He glanced at us a few times but he didn’t seem to be particularly curious about us (lucky for us). Once the bear started wandering out of sight, we all piled into the van to return to the B&B.  Just as we were pulling away, the Polar Bear Police (AKA Conservation Authority) rolled up to ensure that the bear would be heading out of town.  Two officers promptly hopped out of the truck with cracker guns in hand.  These guns expel small smoke bombs and emit loud “cracking” sounds.  This is meant to startle the bear so that he runs off in the right direction.  To our surprise, not only did the officers fire the cracker guns at the ground near the bear, but they also ran directly at the bear from two directions to ensure that he would head up and over the rocks, back toward Cape Merry.  Once the bear was out of sight, the excitement died down and we went back to the B&B to finish our packing.

The next activity on the docket was dog sledding!  We drove out to the Musher’s Den to enjoy some hot beverages and freshly baked bannock and cookies while the dogs lined up excitedly to take us for a ride.  Although it had started snowing a little bit as we arrived to the dog yard, there still wasn’t enough snow on the ground to use the sled so we got to go dog sledding in a cart with wheels – “dog carting”, I suppose.  It was just as fun and exciting to trail behind an enthusiastic team of pups and wind through the trees.

Finally, our Churchill adventure was coming to an end…  We spent our last few hours collecting snacks for the long overnight train back to Thompson.

An extra special thanks goes to Gerald and Jen of Bluesky Bed & Sled for making our visit to Churchill one of the most memorable trips of our lives! (http://www.blueskymush.com)

Adam & Amanda

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