Lay Over Day at Flemming’s Hut:
Today is a day of rest (this is a holiday) - sleeping here again at this hut tonight. Already last night, I enjoyed a wonderful refreshing deep sleep with no barking dogs, slamming doors, people talking. The wind, which blew hard all night, drove the temperature up to +10C. Water puddles are forming on Qoororsuaq lake, the hills are brown and bare, the snow has almost completely melted. I might need a boat instead of snow shoes! The sun is hidden behind a thick grey overcast but with these strong winds, conditions could change rapidly.
Admiring the deep rich blue of frozen lake – like a midnight sky
By noon, its +13C. No need for snow shoes as there is so little remaining snow except for pockets of wet snow stuffed into rock crannies. The lake ice is solid so no worries about falling through but the lack of snow presents a new problem. The lake ice is so slick, and with the strong winds, it is difficult to maintain balance! As well, the melting snow has created deep pools of water, which are higher than my boot tops.
The melting snow reveals other hidden gems. Feathers of goose, ptarmigan, are laced into willow twigs. Hard packed skidoo trails remain white ribbons, more solidly frozen than loose blown snow. Boot tracks on snow, purple from the blood of crowberries.
Walking is difficult on bare ridges as gusts threaten to knock us off our feet. We stay low in the valley, leisurely tracing the lakes frozen water course as it drains north into salt ocean. A hut, far in the distance, next to oceans edge, appears unoccupied with no dogs, komatiks or smoke coming from chimney.
Brilliant pink clouds, their undersides lit by the setting sun around 11pm. Tomorrow we walk to Rodebay, less than 10km away as the crow flys but more than 10km with all the ups, downs and arounds.
A full moon rises steadily, poking over mountain crests at 11:45pm. For at least an hour before the moon was visible, its presence was announced by the glow in the eastern sky. Strong winds have finally cleared the cloud cover away, Using binoculars, I study crisp craters and long dark streaks on the moon’s surface. Directly overhead, the big dipper shines down, north star glinting. Moon lit melt water waves ripple as the wind kicks the lake alive. I retreat inside the vibrating cabin walls, sheltered from the storm outside and crawl into my sleeping bag, good night.