Our first view of polar bears in the wild brought gasps to all of us safely inside the specially fitted high tundra buggies that protected us from both the bitter cold and these majestic creatures, who could otherwise reach as high as the windows. We grabbed our cameras to record the moment, thrilled that we had decided to join this Road Scholar tour entitled “Lords of the North: Ecology of Hudson Bay’s Polar Bears”. The polar bears gather here annually to await the sea ice that forms early on Hudson Bay, and allows them to hunt for seals.
The tour began in Manitoba, Canada, where we visited museums for an introduction to the natural history of this subarctic region. We traveled to Churchill, the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” where the Eskimo Museum advances the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Northern culture and history with an emphasis on the Canadian Inuit.
We stayed in the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, an independent, non-profit research and education facility, where scientific researchers study the area and prepare for the challenges ahead concerning the conservation of polar bears in the wild. In addition to observing these giants of the north, we enjoyed lectures, field trips and a dog sled trip! Overall, we gained an understanding of not only the polar bear’s lives, but also the challenges of global climate change, local conservation issues, and the future of the arctic ecosystem.
Our rooms were furnished with bunk beds, with bathrooms down the hall. Bill roomed with three other men, and I with three women. Our meals offered one hearty entrée, cafeteria-style; we assisted in clean-up chores.
A far cry from our lovely apartment at South Franklin Circle, but an amazing educational experience, filled with awe of the magnificent bears in their natural habitat!
For more about the retirement lifestyle at South Franklin Circle, contact us today, or call 440-247-1300.
Did you like this post? Read Part 2 of the Adventures in Retirement Series.