As I was cleaning up, cleaning out a few weeks ago prepping for a new year, I came across the bucket list my best friends and I compiled in 2015. Adult beverages may have been involved. All ten items involved travel and while destinations ranged Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, from taking the Pacific Coast Highway south from San Francisco to driving Route 66 from Chicago to Flagstaff, at the top of the list was seeing the Northern Lights.
I don’t like to wear shoes with socks. Shoes, yes. Socks, yes. Together? Not so much. It’s a gray, dreary day in here Galveston, Texas, this morning, and at 67 degrees not quite flip-flop weather but too warm for boots, leaving shoes with socks as footwear options.
Know where I could wear boots today? Churchill, Canada, where it’s a balmy 7 degrees this morning.
Churchill is on the western shore of Hudson Bay. As President Andrew Shepard said in the film “The American President”, “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ‘cause it’s going to put up a fight.” Traveling to Churchill isn’t easy. You gotta want to get there bad! The nearest airport with commercial service is Winnipeg, over 600 miles away, and from there it’s the Winnipeg-Churchill train.
Worth the two-day trek for me? Absolutely! About a thousand people live in this village which was once a fur-trading outpost. In October, it becomes the Polar Bear Capital of the World. It’s also noted for beluga whale watching opportunities and is one of the best places in the world to see the aurora borealis, the Northern Lights.
Oh, those Northern Lights! Just imagine seeing those ribbons of light dancing across the night. Wave upon wave of greens, blues, magentas and purples in an ocean of sky. I dare anyone to find anything more mystical, more magical. Surely, they’d take my breath away.
Polar bears crunching through the snow.
Belugas playing in the bay.
Night skies illuminated with cascades of color.
I’m renaming my bucket list my “itch list” because I’m itching to go.
I would even wear shoes and socks!