Polar Bear Blog – Eighteen Hours to Go

So, in what is appearing to be a fit of sentimental insanity, I booked the train from Thompson to Churchill. Now, I am sitting at Thompson’s only internet cafe with a lovely view of car dealerships and ‘The MALL’ and waiting for the train, which is surprisingly only one hour behind schedule. Of course, the schedule now has about four or five hours built into it as a buffer zone so that the train is never really ‘behind schedule’ or at least not supposed to be. Then again, the schedule has also changed about two … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Bears, Trains and Automobiles

Headed up to Thompson tonight and catching the train at (theoretically) 1pm tomorrow. First an eight or nine hour drive on the Unicorn – now stocked with every conceivable tire repair device known to man (mostly because i can’t actually figure out how to change a tire on it…). Then a twelve or so hour train ride (but probably more like 20 hours…). So we’ll see how that goes… I hear there’s talk of VIA scaling back train service to Churchill, back to two times a week – pretty sure that was the schedule in … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Good Sign, I Guess

The weather in Churchill is definitely not predictable but during my time in Churchill, it really seems that our seasonal weather patterns and central Manitoba’s, specifically the Interlake – where I grew up, are kind of flip-flopped. Basically, when Churchill has a nice summer, the Interlake has rain and cold; when Churchill has snow in July, southern Manitoba is sunny and thirty degrees (celsius… of course). So, this weekend should be a pretty good sign for polar bear tourists. More than six inches of snow fell in central Manitoba and winter conditions prevail, with temperatures only … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Busy Busy

So tourist numbers and even polar bears out in Buggyland might be quiet so far but it has been a busy year for polar bears in Churchill itself. Just last week, 17 polar bear occurrences were recorded by polar bear alert; an occurrence is recorded as any time there is a ‘call out’ usually from the polar bear alert hotline. To date, there have been 158 bear occurrences. This is a very high number considering that last year there were 169 calls over the entire ice free season, the last call being a straggler on … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Good Ol’ Days Are Here Again… Sort Of

Two weeks before I’m back in Churchill and from the sounds of it, its still pretty quiet up there, hopefully at my cabin too… moreso since I never quite got around to nailing the plywood back up over the windows when I was last there… Should be interesting to see how this season shapes up with the impressive ice conditions on Hudson Bay. Barring an unseasonably warm October (it is marginally above normal but not enough to make a big difference…), 2009 should go down on record as one of the longer ice seasons since 1971, … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – More Bears, Less People

Well, its been a while but time to start blogging again since, after all, it is that time of year where bears and bear tourists slowly overtake Churchill until its one big snowball of chaos and shuttle buses in early November. So, before too many bears get to Churchill… and before I get up to Churchill… here’s an update for what’s been up with the bears this year… This spring there were definite signs of a late summer (mind you, it wasn’t expected to start in September…) but March was colder than normal not just in … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog and Churchill Manitoba Travel Guide