Cambridge Bay had some special visitors driving into the community on a stormy night, arriving on Wednesday morning of March 16 from Yellowknife. The Transglobal Car Expedition left Yellowknife on Wednesday, March 9 driving on the ocean.
The expedition travelled with seven vehicles in total – three F150s built by Arctic Trucks and four six-wheeler amphibious Yemelyas, all with floatation tires (balloon tires). A team of 15/16 members would stop at night to sleep in vehicles. Each ford truck had a pop-up tent equipped already, they ate dried foods or could cook with little burner stoves, carrying fuel and supplies. All the vehicles were equipped with GPS systems and big flood lights. Vehicles were all warm inside, members had in-reach equipment.
The team drove many hours while it was still daylight, each vehicle’s members took turns driving each vehicle, driving through snow, tundra and ice. There were team members who were experienced medics, mechanics, available communication in case of emergency, able to call in a helicopter to transport injured or sick team members. The trucks are legally used in Iceland as they too have ice and snow and other circumpolar countries.
Upon arriving into Cambridge Bay from Yellowknife it was hard to see the town, and the team waited for someone local to meet them and show them where their hotel was. A good night’s rest, a hot shower and a warm garage was provided for the team at Enokhok Inn.
This trip was only a test drive to get to know the vehicles and of course the land. Prior to their departure from Cambridge Bay, expedition team members met with experienced hunters George Angohiatok and Lawrence Otokiak who gave the team advice on ice and snow conditions when traveling, and expert advice when traveling on ice. A lot was learned from their traditional knowledge of the land and sea.
Joining the team from Cambridge Bay was Brandon Langan (Klengenberg). Brandon having a trip and experience of a lifetime. With travel in the North, it is always advisable to take experienced guides on trips like this, especially in the winter when it is still full of snow and ice. Next year they will be back to do the real trip. You can follow their news, photographs of the expedition online and their social media. Expedition member Andrew Comrie-Picard and team were happy to meet such friendly and welcoming residents both young and old of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.