Iqaluit: Navigator Inn

I decide to leave my room in the Toonoonik Hotel and walk the 50 meters to the Navigator Inn for dinner. After dinner, as I’m leaving the Navigator I discover that a blizzard has descended on Iqaluit. With the combination of darkness, strong winds, stinging snow and frigid temperatures I can’t see a thing but I feel confident I can find the Toonoonik. In no time at all I am disoriented and lost. I stumble and grope snowbanks and eventually find myself back at the Navigator. Foolishly, I decide to try again. I orient myself and figure it can’t be that hard. What I don’t realize is that the blizzard has created a six-foot snowdrift across my path. After getting lost a second time and beginning to fear for my life I again discover that I’m back at the Navigator. I decide to pay for a night at the Navigator even though I have another hotel room a mere 50 meters away. I don’t even register the irony that all this happens at a place called the Navigator.

My parents stop at the side of the road to pick berries. I wander into the bush and find a large clearing. After exploring for a while I decide I had better return to the car as my parents may be ready to leave soon. I return through the bush but soon realize the road is not where I expect it to be. I return to the clearing and try again. Soon I have lost not only the road but also the clearing. When I finally stumble upon the car my parents are in a high state of anxiety.

My mother, older brother and I have set out to find my grandfather’s homesteading site. What began as a hint of a dirt road soon disappears in the dense bush. Our mission is replaced by the growing panic to find our way back to the road, or any road. When my dad, who stayed behind with my younger brother, tells Grandpa what we are up to, Grandpa reacts with dismay. “You’re crazy. They’ll never find their way out of there.” Dad begins driving around and around the circumference of the bush until we finally emerge, shaken but unharmed.