If you discount the general horrors of two days travelling, eating plane food, without sleep, it was a pretty good trip.
I didn’t lose anything. Planes were on time. No connections missed. I discovered that there is such a thing as an electric hand blowdryer that actually dries your hands. They have them in Narita airport Japan. Mind you, they have the same effect on your skin as jumping out of an aeroplane at 10,000 feet and free falling a few thousand feet… (Ever seen those photos of naked skydivers? If not, don’t go looking. Not a pretty sight.)
And the weather over North America was so clear we had a spectacular sightseeing trip. Leaving Washington D.C. behind, we headed north over the Great Lakes and into Canada, across Hudson Bay (definitely a first for me) and then skirted the Arctic Sea. I have never seen so many lakes in all my life, as if this end of the continent is sinking under the summer-melt. Thin threads of dry wend aimless paths through a watery barren landscape. No mark of mankind, not here. No roads, no towns, no ports, no smoke. No footprint of destruction, except that left – possibly – by our power to warm, so wantonly, a globe floating in the cold of space.
This was a land seamlessly becoming a northern sea, or a sea insinuating curving fingers and sinuous arms into a flat expanse of taiga, tundra – call it what you will. For hour upon hour, until the land gradually lifted itself up out of the water into rugged ranges of iron-mauve, capped with blue-grey peaks. No snow in this early September weather, no trees ever, no roads or pipelines – yet. It could have been Mars, raw and beautiful and forbidding.
Alas, as northern Canada switched to the the rough scouring ranges of northern Alaska, the clouds came down, and I saw no more.