The End of the Road… to Nowhere.
Longtime readers of my blog may recall that I live on the aptly named ‘Road to Nowhere’ here in Iqaluit. When I first moved here back in 2000, the name was just an informal one for a dirt track that meandered out of the city for about 7 kilometers before ending abruptly in the middle of, well… nowhere.
Nowadays, the first 2 kilometers or so are paved and built up into a residential subdivision (where I now sit as I write this), and the name became formal when the city adopted actual street names about 4 or 5 years ago. Most street names are rarely used actually, often unknown even to people who live on a given street, but everybody knows the name of this one. Taxi drivers, however, usually abbreviate it when reporting to their dispatchers, as in ‘I’m going Nowhere’.
Yesterday, after the idleness of winter, and with nothing pressing to do, I arose early and decided that I would walk to the end of our road…
By the way, the first picture in today’s post doesn’t actually show the end of the road (indeed, it is facing the opposite direction from the actual terminus), but it is taken at the spot where the road used to end when I first came out there some 13 years ago.
This picture does point towards the actual end of the road. To the left, there is now a dirt pit that serves as a rifle range, while the roadway (extended since I was last here) runs beyond the rocks for another few hundred yards or so before terminating in another sandy area. I have no idea as to the story of the van at the roadside. I can only assume that the driver got tired of waiting for a tow-truck and either walked out or was eaten by ravens.
I came upon this rather curious structure a kilometer or two before the end of the road. I could see it from quite a way away and had no idea what to make of it at first. It is a little difficult to get a sense of the scale from the picture, there being no man-made objects nearby, but the large upright rock is about 12 feet high, which would preclude the thing having been constructed casually. It looks, for all the world, like some sort of bizarre ritualistic sacrificial alter, which begs one to ask who built it, and, perhaps more saliently, who is to be sacrificed. Kittens, perhaps? Members of the Legislature … Justin Bieber?
The mystery was actually solved a little further on where a small sign proclaims that the area around this decorative structure is the site of the City’s future cemetery. There are actually some graveled pathways under construction, and a few smaller rock structures, and the area is, I suppose, pretty enough, in a stark sort of way. I’m guessing, though, that it may be wise to book ahead for occupancy as people will, no doubt, be dying to get in to such a picturesque resting spot.
I had forgotten that there is a pretty good size river out here. The last time I was out this way, however, it was a good bit later in the summer and it could well be that the river was considerably smaller than it is in this picture.
There is still quite a bit of snow and ice left to melt and the run-off is really giving force to the current of the swollen river. The picture really doesn’t do it justice, but the color of the submerged ice had the most beautiful, almost luminous green quality to it. In the background, to the right, you may just be able to make out a cluster of large rocks that, from this distance, look a bit like cows in a field. They have obviously been placed there on a graded surface and I am not sure, but I think they may have something to do with the cemetery… a parking area, perhaps?
This? I am sure I have *no* clue whatsoever…
The picture is taken roughly midway between the cemetery site and the end of the road and the appearance of this curious bit of furniture in such an isolated spot certainly has a touch of the surreal about it. Possibly it is the meeting location for a small but particularly anti-social chess club, or something? The chair and table also look like they would belong in a fast-food joint, but I am guessing that, out here, you might be waiting a good long time for service…
Anyway, my walk took about two hours and covered, I would judge, a good 8 to 10 kilometers. After the long winter, with my exercise consisting only of the odd exertion shoveling snow, or hefting my luggage to and from a taxi, the effort is now telling and my legs almost sound like they are creaking when I try to move. I am thinking that the best recuperation would be to lie down for the rest of the day while beautiful (not to mention scantily clad) women rub my joints with scented oil. Unfortunately, my wife seems singularly uninterested in participating in this, nor, sadly, disposed in any way to arrange for suitable substitutes in her stead.