Summer has sped along and we are far overdue with an update! There is a mix of news and a mix of feelings in our update, which we are sure many of you can relate to in your own lives.
As so many have experienced, COVID times have presented challenges and it has pushed many to re-examine their needs, their dreams, and their priorities. The Ice Ties crew has not been immune to this experience. Our last year (plus) has been filled with bumps, emotions, decisions, and has required lots of patience… all of it. Most recently, in May, our teammate Nora made the decision to leave the expedition. It has been an emotional change for each of us, but while she has left the expedition, she has not left our hearts, and remains a close friend and supporter.
What does this mean for the trip? We, Anna and Samantha, remain committed to our original dream! We are hoping to make Hudson Bay a reality. There are some adjustments in there. We will no longer be traveling with two dog teams, but one. We have been actively downsizing our dog crew and looking for appropriate homes for each of those that will be leaving our team. We will only be building one sled, which is getting underway this week! We also still have the same workload, with a lighter crew, but we are conquering things steadily each week.
The expedition length and destination itself remains in flux as we consider COVID-19 and restrictions surrounding it. Recent news reports that the border is reopening in August for vaccinated Americans traveling to Canada. With this announcement, we have hope that our full expedition plans could take place. However, there are still roadblocks. Right now vaccination rates are different throughout different areas. Some rural communities we had planned to visit may not be open to or welcoming visitors, despite vaccination status. We want to be respectful of all communities and be sure that we are acting in a socially responsible and health conscious way as we move forward. You might also now be asking, what happens if you don’t go to Hudson Bay? At a minimum, we will be completing the Minnesota portion of our expedition, a total of 28 days. We plan to make a final decision on the other portions of the route by early September.