Grizzly print 2 small
The prints aren’t huge, likely double the size of man’s hand, but the profile is unmistakable: grizzly bear. They seem very fresh, likely minutes old, prints of a bear in flight (we surmise) having seen a strange object approach through the fog.

We stole 28kms today. The weather forecast had been for high winds and difficult travel but our morning builds to a guarded calm and we jump at it – calm water in the arctic is as rare as winter sun in Vancouver after all.

Remnants of DEW Line Site PIN-2 has been staring at us from our evening’s moorage and we elect to pop in and take a look. I find these decommissioned sites far more desolate and lonely than the surrounding landscape purely because of the echo of a past human presence. Poking around them is always fascinating.

Once on shore we make a short walk uphill and are presented with a grid of large metal shipping containers neatly placed in row and column, as cold and ordered as an accountants ledger. Adjacent is a smaller grid of large plywood boxes on palettes. A large sign boldly states: “CAUTION PCB STORAGE AREA TRESPASSING IS PROHIBITED” An unhappy legacy to time past.

A gravel runway sweeps across the site, compact and useable. A large metal clad airplane hanger lords over, its shape strangely pleasing in an architectural sense, its proportion and form reminiscent of a post-modern expression. It’s all so strange in such a landscape.
Plane hanger small
A medium Northwester builds to push us to our next point of protection. Patrick, a retired meteorologist who is kindly helping us with our forecasts, suggests the winds will intensify soon. We find protection and the winds do as he says, to near gale force. It’s nice having a guardian angel or two.
PCB Storage small
We’re able to get to shore in this lee and elect to sleep in the tent for the night.(tent poles are fixed from the last wind storm) The ground in the area is low-lying with grassland, tidal flats and gravel bars wrestling for dry their share of the dry ground. Looking for a good tent spot has us searching the area and this is when we see the tracks.

A grizzly bear print stands out like no other with divots from the large claws radiating out from the body of the print. When seen side by side, the front paw prints turn in towards one another indicating a slightly pigeon-toed stance.

These tracks look like they’ve dug into the mud in an explosive gallop. Did this animal scurry off in a hurry? Was it us it was running from?