Greetings from Cape Sheridan!

Genny and Susan have reached Cape Sheridan, after several flights, but there’s a problem – due to fog and bad weather, they were forced to land on the opposite side of the river from Robert Peary’s camp, where most of the archaeological sites are!

Play this audio clip to hear Susan describe their journey North, and give her impressions of the harsh, beautiful environment.

2017 – sadly the audio file for this entry has been lost. The following is a transcript:


Greetings from Cape Sheridan

When we last communicated we were in Resolute, on the eve of our flight north.

On Sunday morning we loaded our gear onto a Twin Otter, and experienced the most amazing flight up the west coast of Ellesmere Island with it’s deeply cut fiords. We could see Axel Heiberg island on the left, a dramatic landscape with glaciers spilling out everywhere.

After a three hour flight, we needed to refuel and landed at Tanquary fiord, where Parks Canada has the warden station for Ellesmere’s national park. There we learned that we could not continue on due to fog at Alert, Canada’s northernmost military base and the weather station nearest to our destination. We were forced to spend the night at Tanquary where Parks Canada staff welcomed us and provided us shelter. It is an absolutely beautiful but austere setting with remarkably warm and sunny weather much of the summer.

The next morning, the weather report indicated that conditions at Alert were better, but there were fog banks in the area. The pilot decided to fly over anyways to have a look. We were in for another spectacular flight across Ellesmere with great views of Lake Hazen.

He flew over Cape Sheridan, with fog moving in and out from the ice choked sea. we had tantalizing glimpses of Floeberg Beach, Ross Marvin’s memorial and various other historic markers. For the next hour the pilot dodged the fog, circled around, attempted numerous landings, which he had to abort, and finally selected a short river terrace as a landing strip.

We joyfully stepped foot on land, only to realize that, thanks to the fog, this only possible landing site was on the north side of the Sheridan River, while most of the sites we need to visit are on the south side. There was nothing we could do at that point, so we set up camp and began following Peary’s motto “find a away or make one” to get ourselves onto the other side of this swift, deep and icy river.

We’ll update you on our progress in the next post.


2 thoughts on “Greetings from Cape Sheridan!

  1. Hi Susan~Just listened to you talking about the landing on the ‘wrong” side of the river: frustrating but certainly exciting! Lise and I are visiting in Portland…staying with Hannah and Adam. Yesterday we hiked out on the coast…spectacular views of the Pacific across the Salmon River to Camp Westwind, where years ago, I used to take kids. There was a YWCA camp, but I’m not sure it’s still there. Great to see, even if not quite the views you are getting up Nawth!

    Hannah sends her love so do we all!

    Cheers, and looking forward to hearing how you build a rope bridge to get across the river…


  2. Hi Sue,

    Not sure if you got my last note…think I sent it to myself. Enjoyed your post about landing on the wrong side of the river…look forward to hearing how you build a rope bridge to get to the other side! Sides just amazing. Lise and I are in Oregon, did some hiking on the coast, seeing friends, going to two weddings, and visiting with Hannah and Adam. Hannah and I will be hiking up MT. St. Helens in a couple of days…not like your adventure, but might be exciting, depending on weather.
    Much to love to ya, and keep dodging the skeeters,

    Bill, Lise, Hannah and Adam

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