As long-promised, here are some pictures I took during my four weeks in Churchill. Today, we look at a small fraction of the hundreds of photos I took during our all-day Tundra Buggy tour. I capitalized that because the name of the corporation that owned the vehicle that took us out across the northern wastelands is named "The Tundra Buggy"; it seems only proper to capitalize the proper name. All of the pictures here today are shrunken but not cropped (unless otherwise noted); file sizes of the raw images run to close to 2.0 MB in some cases.
And away we go...
A view of the terrain from on-board the tundra buggy. Tundra is sometimes considered a desert habitat because annual precipitation is low. But, the presence of thick permafrost (I was told 10 meters thick or more) close to the surface combined with generally flat terrain plus the post-glacial rebound means water doesn't drain very well and the soil and landscape generally is soaking wet. Don't sit down on the tundra unless you want your pants to get wet.
Another look at the terrain. This kind of longer grass only grew in some areas, usually close to ponds as far as I could tell. Much of the vegetation on the tundra didn't look like grasses to me, rather it was a mix of lichen and low, soft shrubs. The ground was so compressible from the layers of lichen, moss and other stuff that walking was very tiring.
A look at the outside (front) of the Tundra Buggy. This is the first place we stopped, a seemingly randomly-chosen patch of tundra arrived at after perhaps 20 minutes of driving. The Tundra Buggy never goes particularly fast; the driver told us the tires were rated for 30 mph on good surfaces. We never got up to such speeds. The Buggy is huge, much larger than any other ground vehicle I've been on board or close to. It's about two meters wider overall than a maximum-legal-width road vehicle, and stands at least four meters tall. Total length is a little less than a full-size transport trailer. Inside, there are two rows of benches, with a central aisle, much like the school bus we rode to the "pad" where the Buggies are stored. Unlike the school bus, however, the central aisle is easily wider than both rows of benches combined.
Another look at the Buggy, this time from the second place we stopped, another patch of tundra much like any other. Again, the Buggy is a large ground vehicle. Apparently, the construction is based on airport-type fire trucks, with raised up (redneck-style) suspensions, bigger tires, and the deck at the back added.
The next pictures I took on this trip are of a couple of polar bears we saw and got quite close to. I'll put those in their own post, and stop talking about large vehicles in favour of large land animals.