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Miles to Go Before We Sleep

Where are we?

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT TERRITORY, CANADA—“Traveling to the Canadian Arctic requires a lot of patience.” Those were the sage words of a fellow weary traveler as we stood at the airport ticket counter at 3:45 p.m. on April 16 in Iqaluit, Canada. Chris and I had missed our connecting flights to points farther north, as had Andrew Brown (red jacket, photo below), a resident of Resolute, Canada who was returning from a month of vacation. We had all been slated for six hours and 1,120 miles of air travel north and west to Igloolik, Pond Inlet, and finally to our North Pole staging base in Resolute (see a map of our travel plans). Our goal is to document what scientists are learning about the Arctic Ocean and how it regulates global climate. But now we were standing in Iqaluit (ik-COW-lu-eet). It was a fitting, and ultimately welcome, turn of events.

We had set out from West Falmouth, Massachusetts, at 10 a.m. the day before, with baggage, cameras, and snacks stuffed into the back of a 2000 Saturn SL1. We were determined to keep control over our lives; there was no way we were going to allow ourselves to get trapped in airports, at the mercy of concerned flight controllers and a freak winter storm in springtime. We canceled our airline tickets to Ottawa and decided to begin our expedition with an old-fashioned road trip.

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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