Blog post from August 15:
Even though no data was collected today, it was perhaps one of the busiest days of the entire trip and definitely one of the most emotional. When I woke up this morning at the CNSC, I found my gear neatly packed inside my suitcase, not scattered about the room as it had been the last couple of days. At breakfast, we chatted over bacon and french toast like it was any other morning in Churchill, ignoring the fact that this was our final day in this incredible place. The reality began to set in as we packed the final hip waders and probes away and carried them next door to the Old CNSC and through the seemingly endless labyrinth of dimly lit hallways to our storage room.
When everything was finally organized and put away, it was time to check out of the CNSC and head to town for the morning. Our first stop was the renowned Eskimo Museum. After spending some time with the museum's incredibly extensive collection of artifacts, we had some free time in town to shop for gifts and souvenirs. We all then met up at Gypsy’s, a popular café, for pastries. I tried the ubiquitous Nanaimo bar for the first time. After Gypsy’s we headed down to the Goose Creek Marina, where we spent the afternoon fishing, canoeing, and cooking hot dogs and s’mores over a bonfire. We then retreated to Jill’s nearby cabin, where we enjoyed the delicious snow goose soup and bannock she cooked, complete with jams made from berries we had picked in the field a few days earlier. Our final stop of the day before leaving Churchill was the town complex, where we sat around, chatted, and watched the sun set over the Hudson Bay for the last time.
At the train station, we tearfully said goodbye to Jim, Jill and the Junior Rangers before boarding the train to Thompson as the northern lights vividly danced over our heads. As I write this blog post on the train, the last lights of Churchill have long since slid past my window, yet I know that while we have physically departed Churchill, the memories we have made and the people we have met in the polar bear capital of the world will continue to live on and make a lasting impact.
-Cory Silver, The Park School grade 12