Posts

Showing posts from December, 2014

World's end

Image
"Anything I've ever done that was ultimately worthwhile, initially scared me to death." -- Betty Bender

“We shouldn’t be here,” I thought on the walk back to our guesthouse. Technically, we were still within the city limits of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, so carrying a firearm for protection from polar bears was not mandatory.  In truth, we were living, moving targets.

It was a 3 kilometer uphill hike from the town center to Spitsbergen Guesthouse, but there were no buildings along this stretch save an elementary school.  Where would we run if a wild polar bear smelled us?  And did you know they can smell seals 1 meter below solid ice? Not to mention, the odds of us outrunning hungry mega-fauna were slim to none.
It was 01:00 but who could tell the difference between night & day, given that we were in the realm of the midnight sun?  Though it was not sunny, the sky was bright enough to see the single paved road ahead (and behind) my mother & me.  The ravine’s dark wall…