Friday, 26 February 2010

Links, etc.

From this post:

Lent reminds me to have a healthy amount of awe for one of the greatest mysteries ever seen: that the human animal, who should know of nothing other than the material world at hand, has from the beginning held on to this perplexing notion that what he needs and wants cannot be found in the only world he's ever seen. Almost every culture throughout history, separated by time and space, has come up with this idea. I always wrote that off when I was an atheist, assuming that people just needed stories about fantasy worlds to make themselves feel better. But now that I have discovered God's existence, I get it. This idea won't die because the thirst we feel deep in our souls is real, and the material world offers us only saltwater to quench it. Looking outside the material world, finding God, is to finally find the pure water that fully satisfies the aching thirst.

Lent reminds me not that all the status and comforts and possessions I've pursued are necessarily bad, but that there is Something infinitely better. To quote C.S. Lewis: "All that we call human history -- money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery -- [is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."

Also, I am thinking of, at some point, either publically or not, comparing two posts (or series of posts): one for atheists on interacting with Christians, and one for Christians on interacting with atheists. Should be interesting.

7 Quick Takes (XXXI)

1. It was Customer Appreciation Day at Coles. I think it is needless to say that I bought books. Too many. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Paradise Lost (scrupulously NOT the one prefaced by Philip Pulman), The Bone Handbook (dealing not with skeletons but with the [epic] graphic novels of Jeff Smith, which I insist you borrow immediately from your public library, esp. if you like things that are funny, that contain a pretty girl [Jon], that have adventure, or that are good), and The Odyssey. Bad Christian! Bad! (You'll notice in the photo a fifth book. We'll get to it later.)

2. I believe I got some writing done this weekend. I don't like how it is turning out, but I need to just hammer through, I think, until I do like what is coming out, and then I can go back and fix. On another note, I have become enamoured yet again with sonnets. Sonnet sonnets sonnets sonnets.

3. It has been preposterously mild here. This week saw temperatures above freezing. ABOVE FREEZING. I cannot emphasize this enough. Stuff (snow, mainly) is melting.

4. Due to certain on-line related events, I want to play Fallout 3 again. The only thing stopping me is that I have been putting off buying a new computer to replace this one.

5. I have come to realize that I am addicted to the Internet. Oops.

6. This evening, after work, I went to Coles to pick up my pre-ordered copy of The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey. The book is authored by Robert Morrison, who Jon and I have had as a professor. This professor's general excellence is mainly why I bought the book, though I did enjoy reading De Quincey's On Murder essays. That and that I am trying to read literary criticism to help me prepare stylistically for grad school.
At, Coles, the girl at cash reminds me somewhat of Penelope from Questionable Content, only not so skinny and shorter. (I use the present tense of "reminds" because this is on-going; I see her now pretty much whenever I go to Coles.)

7. Oh, right. This week I wrote a letter. But to whom? Presumably that person will find out.

(8.) Canada! Two points of particular happiness: Mens, Canada v. Russia; Womens, Canada v. USA, for Gold. Yay! Canada!

Well, this week's seven have been quick after all. Also, rather childish.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

xkcd does existentialism

I recently wrote a post on existentialism; xkcd has just posted a comic that, while not refering directly to existentialism, nonetheless does justice to a particular aspect of that philosophy.

Maybe the Most Horrific Thing I Have Ever Written

or, A Sonnet
I had been wanting to write a sonnet to Forficula auricularia (a la writing a sonnet to Cepaea nemoralis, seen here), but so far I have no idea how to proceed. However, my eyes glancing across my room, I happened to see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sitting, as of yet unread, on my desk. A perfectly ghoulish inversion of sonnet conventions stuck me, in which the speaker's beloved mistress spurns him until she is turned into the living dead, at which point she is more than interested in consummating their not-so-mutual interests. Needless to say, I succumbed. What lies (or rather limps, or shambles) before you is the unfortunate result.


Zealous you pursue me, who, when 'live,
Of your alluring self you cruelly starved;
My love for you unslaked, in wood I carved
Beloved name of you who'd me deprived.
I craved your blinking eyes, your sable mane,
Each limping joke and, more than all, your brain.
Must now you answer diff'rently than when
In blushing breast your heart still pump'd out life?
So far have I avoided your love-bites;
This time I will surrender you to other men,
Releasing them 'gainst Laz'rus-aping you as wife;
Except I know you'll come for me some hunted night.
So I must ask, Will I, when meeting you undead,
Still loving, die? Or yet remove your maidenhead?

1 point for each sonnet convention or early modern pun that you can find.
1 point for each allusion to a zombie movie/comic/video game/haiku that you can find.
5 points if you can find the sonnet's hidden name.

I am dreadfully sorry about writing this. But maybe not so sorry that I won't post it.
I promise that my next sonnet will be a serious one.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Post of the Housekeeping Variety

G'day, folks.

Those in my blogfeed, beware: I have done you the disservice of adding a new member to your ranks, one who posts every single day. Rare will be the post which higher ranks than his (minus the defective Hark! A Vagrant, which seems to repost itself every minute or so), and short the span it does.

Yes, the inversed prose is due to reading sonnets and Miltonic verse recently. Sorry about that, too.

Friday, 19 February 2010

The "Real Christian" Question

[This post has nothing to do with probing my identity. Sorry if this is what you were expecting.]

Lately I've been spending a little time at Atheist Revolution, a blog which is devoted to "breaking free from irrational belief and opposing Christian extremism in America." I originally found it at the Blogger's Choice awards, and have been snooping over there silently to see what the atheists are getting up to these days. It's part of my personal fair-reading policy, though it's also an excellent exercise in keeping my temper and not writing stupid things on the Internet.

A common theme at Rev. Atheist's blog (the url,, always makes me think of an atheist reverend) is discussing why people like Pat Robertson are "real Christians." Or, actually, from what I can tell, the theme is discussing that more than discussing why, but I think I can infer the why easily enough by what Vjack (the author) says. You could likely find a representative post in short order by going through the recent archives, but I'll give you a good one here. I encourage you to go and read it now. It's rather short.

Alright, I hope you've read it. In case you missed it, the article was supposed to be ironic. That is, Vjack does not remotely buy the claim that people who claim to be Christian and then do un-Christ-like things are thereby not Christians. Given the sorts of arguments he has likely been in and given his understanding of what Christianity is, I completely understand where he is coming from. On the other hand, I have heard Christians discuss the idea of "real Christians" and "non-Christians who say they're Christians" enough times to know that they are using the term in a valid way. What we have here is a case of equivocation: one term, in this case "real Christian", has two or more meanings, and these are getting confused. I hope to clear this up.

I can imagine the sort of debate Vjack might be in; Vjack will make a claim like, Pat Robertson and George Bush and Pope Urban II all demonstrate that Christians can be dangerous and stupid, and then his Christian opposite will make a claim like, Those are not real Christians. Vjack will then try to parse what his opponent means, and his opponent will 'help' him as follows: Because these people do things that are not in keeping with Christianity, they cannot be Christians. And this sounds an awful lot like, if a Christian sins, they either immediately become non-Christian or reveal that they never were Christian.

You can understand why an atheist would find this notion absurd. Stated like that, I find the idea absurd. An atheist, especially a rational materialist one, will likely understand Christianity as a sociological phenomenon; a Christian is a member of this movement called Christianity, or this group of individuals, organizations, and institutions roughly known as Christendom. Thus it seems kind of silly to claim that there is some sort of moral identity clause in Christian membership that says that one can only be a Christian if one doesn't do such-and-such and always does this-and-that. If you are part of the sociological movement, then you are a Christian. Of course, some behaviours might strongly suggest you aren't actually a "real Christian"--consulting the priestess of Delphi, for instance, or summoning Satan by burning a Bible--but for the most part, if a person is any sort of Christian, they are necessarily a "real Christian."

There remains the slight concern about how a person becomes a member of this sociological phenomenon, which is thorny and, regardless of what anyone might say, intractable. You cannot simply say that anyone who claims to be of a particular religion is of that religion. I can claim to be Taoist however often and vigorously as I like; if I don't believe that there is a Tao ordering the world, if I take pride in pride, if I shun the local natural world and delight in the cosmopolitan centres, if I have no truck with either the Tao Te Ching or the I Ching, if I am determinedly competetive, and if I think meditation, feng shui, and tai chi are for idiots, then I am absolutely not Taoist. Claiming membership is not sufficient. (Which is to say, Ghandi was not Christian or Muslim, regardless of what he might have claimed.) Membership must instead lie in some combination of beliefs and behaviours, but the requirements are a source of contention even among Religious Studies scholars, who presumably would have the best idea about this sort of thing. Like all sociological phenomena, religions have fuzzy borders.
However, if we can grant that all Christians must agree on at least some basic set of beliefs (the existence and divinity of Jesus Christ, the existence of a Holy Spirit, the value if not truth of the Bible, the existence of a potentially eternal soul, salvation acheived through the Crucifixion, the in-born sinfulness of human nature coupled with the inherent goodness of the soul) and that anyone who professes these beliefs and meets some minimum requirement of Christian behaviour (which may be no more than not worshipping other gods), then certainly there are Christians, under the sociological definition just given, who do profoundly un-Christ-like things. Claiming that these people are not "real Christians" seems utterly absurd if you are thinking of "Christian" in the sociological sense required. Of course they're real Christians; they are real people, and they meet all of the criteria required to be a Christian.

If Vjack's hypothetical opponent indeed did mean that these people do not fall under the sociological umbrella of Christianity, then he would be rather wrong. A Religious Studies scholar* must conclude that people like Pat Robertson are Christians, and real ones, at that.

However, I suspect Vjack's hypothetical opponent might have meant something else entirely, and in this case he could be quite right in his claim.
A Christian** will view Christianity as something other than a sociological phenomenon. (An intelligent one will still see that there is a sociological phenomenon called Christianity and that it overlaps rather a bit with the Christianity to which she claims allegiance, but strictly speaking she is not claiming allegiance to the sociological phenomenon.) Christianity to a Christian is more than just a set of beliefs and institutions, but also a relationship to God and a particular outlook. A Christian identifies themselves as such when they have decided to act like Christ, simply put. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that Christians have decided to try to act like Christ and call on the Holy Spirit for help. To a Christian, being a real Christian means genuinely attempting to share Jesus' worldview and trying to emulate Jesus' ethics.
Under this definition, it is unlikely that a member of the Ku Klux Klan could be a real Christian. Why? Because the KKK espouses hate, and Jesus espoused love. It is necessarily impossible that a person proud of hating could be a "real Christian." That's not to say that a person who hates cannot be a Christian. What I'm saying is that person who thinks that in some circumstances it's good to hate other people, as did the KKK, cannot be Christian. That's part of the definition of a Christian. (The Bible does, at least in the NRSV translation, encourage hating sin, but hating the sinner is not such a good thing.)

Of course, the KKK could talk about believing in Christ and salvation and the Word of the Lord; he could go to church and sing hymns; he could vote for the Christian Right and give to charity; he could be part of the temperance movement and teach Sunday School. Under the vast majority of sociological or academic definitions, he would be a Christian, and if we only were looking at this sociological membership, it would be absurd to claim that he was not a "real Christian." But, so long as he believes that it is good to hate black people, then he cannot in truth be a "real Christian," as a real Christian does not believe that it is good to hate. (Of course, we could always posit the existence of his daughter, who does not believe that it is good to hate but nonetheless attends Klan meetings, burns crosses in fronts yards, and if truth be told hates black people regardless of her desire not to. Whether or not she is a real Christian would be a matter of debate were it not for the fact that it isn't any of our business. It's God's business, and His alone.)

Is this sufficiently clear? To the rational-materialist/anthropologist, it makes no sense to distinguish between real Christians and less-than-real Christians; if a person is a Christian at all, then she is a real Christian. To the Christian, however, there is a huge difference between a person is following Christ and one who isn't, and that has little to do with public identification as a Christian.

Of course, the rational materialist atheist might say, "Sure, they think there's a difference, but I know there isn't. How does this make their claim any less absurd?" Put another, it's fair to ask how the Christian's understanding of the term "real Christian" has any relevance to an non-Christian. I do have an answer for that.

Let's go back to the hypothetical debate between our hypothetical blogging atheist and our hypothetical Christian. The atheist has made some arguement which attempts to undermine Christianity's validity by saying that many Christians are loathsome creatures who molest children and slaughter Jewish people and ostracize people for 'sins' that aren't actually wrong. This argument is trying to demonstrate that Christians are hypocrits and, somehow, that Christians are hypocrits will prove that the tenants of Christianity are false. (Which of course is a steaming pile of manure; that's an ad hominem arguement. However, I have heard this arguement before, so we'll run with it.) The Christian wants to demonstrate that most Christians are not hypocrits, so makes the distinction between real and not-real Christians. The atheist scoffs. But ought she? No. Because the Christian actually has a point here. That is, Christianity the sociological phenomenon may be flawed, but Christianity the religion, the Christianity which is neither more nor less than trying your hardest to be like Jesus and calling on the Holy Spirit to help you do so, that Christianity is a different thing altogether from the sociological phenomenon that shares its name. Which is to say that any judgement derived from the sociological phenomenon is invalid when applied to the "walk of like" Christianity.

I'll give you an example. A scientist somewhere does experiment in which he takes a frog and puts in the freezer. Note that, while doing so, he is wearing a lab coat and lab goggles and has his Ph.D.s in Biology and Astrophysics mounted on the wall behind him. He takes the frog out sometime later and thwacks it on the table, demonstrating that it is as hard as a rock. He then carefully thaws the frog, and it's quite fine. It hops around and ribbits and eats some flies and finds a lady-frog and begets itself some tadpoles. The scientist then writes a paper saying that if we freeze our limbs, we will be able to do more dangerous labour because we will be safe from damage. He cites his frozen frog as proof.
This is not "real" science, obviously. If this is all he ever does, then he is not a real scientist. We know this. A real scientist follows the scientific method, and that's not something this guy does. So he's not a real scientist. Except, of course, for the fact that he's receiving grant money to do this, is employed by a department of science in a accredited university, claims to be a scientist, and is perceived to be a scientist by his peers and students. Sociologically speaking, he is a scientist; as far as the scientific method is concerned, he is not. If we tried to claim that science is somehow flawed because this guy is an idiot and makes ridiculous claims in the guise of proven facts, we ourselves would be the ones making ridiculous claims. In fact, even if 99.9% of scientists were like this guy, we'd still be wrong to claim that science itself is faulty. The scientific institutions might be derailed, but that doesn't mean that science is.

In the same way, claiming that people like Klan members demonstrate that there is something wrong with Christianity is only valid if you're talking about Christianity as a particular sociological phenomenon. This is a different Christianity than the one I am claiming to be a part of; there is overlap, of course, and I am certainly a member of the sociological Christianity, too. But what is not flawed is the religion in which I attempt to be Christ-like and, frankly, people who espouse hate are not a part of that religion. What this means is that you may point out as many problems as you like with the Pat-Robertson Christianity; that bothers me not, for he's not part of my Christianity. In this sense, he is not a "real Christian".

To be honest, I don't think it is often my place to judge whether or not a person is really trying to follow Christ. I cannot get into their headspace and so simply cannot know. For this reason you will not often see me making the real/not-real distinction. But I wanted to outline why this distinction could be a legitimate claim on the part of a Christian and how this affects concerns about making generalizations about Christianity as a whole.

[This post is too long, so I'm cutting it off now. I'm actually truncating the "Why this is important part," because there are a lot of anti-religious arguements that fall down when this distinction is brought to light. But I realize blogs are not the best forum for dissertations, so I will stop going on now. Just one more paragraph and then the footnotes.]

Of course, there's also the issue that the debate itself is derailed, here. Whether a person does horrific things doesn't affect whether or not "their" Christianity--even if it's the very specific kind my hypothetical Christian is endorsing--is a good thing. We don't want to abolish science because the Nazis did real science (ie. following the scientific method) when mutilating people in their Holocaust laboratories. But that's a whole new ball-game.
*I'm not an authoratative Religious Studies scholar; it was my minor in undergrad, is all. I am not claiming to represent the standpoint of such a scholar. Rather, I am saying that from such a standpoint a person would likely draw such a conclusion.
** I suppose it's not quite fair to generalize like this; certainly many Christians will disagree with what I've said. I am being lazy and saying "a Christian" when what I mean is "the sort of hypothetical Christian I'm talking about who could reasonably make the claim that some people professing to be Christians are in fact not real Christians."
***At this point I've voyaged to far into speculation to make any claim that my hypothetical atheist resembles vjack at all. Not that he ever did, more than likely.

7 Quick Takes (XXX)

(though this week they'll hardly be quick)

1. If my life were other than what it is, then that St. Valentine's Day occured in 7 Quick Takes week 30, or XXX, would perhaps be appropos. I almost wish I could claim to have counted it out in advance and specifically planned for this sort of synchronicity, but, alas, I can claim no such thing. And, since my life is what it is and isn't what it isn't, nothing occured this St. Valentine's Day that would make even a single X rating applicable. Sorry that I can't provide your excitement for the day.
(Actually, for future reference, if anything ever were to happen which might deserve an X rating, you'd never hear of it.)

2. This past weekend, as you know, I went with the folks to Fort Chipewyan. In Alberta and now some other Canadian provinces, this Monday was Family Day, which is I think a civic holiday, which at the very least means that I didn't work. As with most three-day weekends, we left to go do something.
So, the trip to Fort Chip went something like this: on Saturday we drove north on the Winter-Access Road for five-to-six hours, seeing on the way a grouse and some ptarmigan, not to mention awesome environments. We arrived in Fort Chipewyan and went into our accomadations--the Northern Lights Bed and Breakfast--which was a nice though modestly-sixed house decorated mainly with aboriginal artwork. I stayed in the Bison's Guest Room.
That afternoon we went dogsled riding and learned all sorts of things, and got to play with husky puppies. The puppies were one sixteenth wolf, which the owner says doesn't really mean anything at all. By the time you breed the agression out of dog-wolf hybrids, you've lost any genetic advantages the wolf ancestry might have. The father of these pups (one eight wolf) was simply a very good sled dog, and the owner did not want to lose those genes. Anyway, if you're ever in Fort Chipewyan, give Robert Grandjambe a call. If you think you're headed that way, contact me and I'll set you up with his phone number.
On Sunday we tried to drive to Fort Smith and the Northwest Territories border, but failed to get there. The roads were so rough that we were forced to drive at about 35-40 km per hour, which doesn't make trips go any quicker. We, alas, saw no bison or moose, notwithstanding being in Wood Buffalo National Park. We did see bison tracks, and we saw the Peace River. I will sometime get photos of the drive onto this blog.
Sunday afternoon we returned to town and visited the museum there. It was small, but they had some cool stuff, including a beaver-paw purse and a Chipewyan syllabic typewriter. Also, we went to the top of the hill behind the museum to see the cairn and to look over the Lake Athabasca. In so doing I stood on some exposed Canadian Shield, which made me happier than you'd likely imagine. I did not spend much of my life on the Canadian Shield, living just south of it; this being said, I have always for some reason been attached to it, and to the exposed rock of northern Ontario, and so standing on that same geological formation seemed like a connection to my distant homeprovince. Also, it has "Canadian" it in, and for some reason I'm right now really into Canadiana.
Anyway, we also visited the church, drove around town, and ate at the Lodge, which Lodge burnt to the ground a day or so after we left.
What I learned about Fort Chip is that their likely-government-subsidized housing looks boring on the outside but may nonetheless be quite nice on the inside; that their cemetary has primarily wooden crosses and many of the plots are individually surrounded by picket fences and may have covers; that Fort Chipewyan has just as many ravens as Fort McMurray; and that Fort Chipewyan, like Fort McMurray, is fit in and around hills and so appears smaller at first glance than it really is.
We drove home on Monday, a drive during which I mainly felt nauseated and slept, though I did pen a sonnet before conking out.

3. All this week has been sunny and mild. With the exception of today, snow has been melting off of the boardwalks at work. It's been deceptively spring-like, and memories of Fort McMurray in the summer have been pounding through my blood. Disappointment is coming, I am sure, as we aren't through with winter yet. This being said, I cannot wait for spring. Except when I'm doing awesome winter things, like dogsledding, or when I am seeing the feather-prints of ravens in the snow. This happens daily now.

4. I have now read some of those other library books, including most of the Best Canadian Short Stories 08 and the pre-Tolkien fantasy stories. The latter are quite fun, to be honest with you. I hadn't expected them to be as good as they are. Hopefully I'll have the time and inclination to discuss them with you. In a later post.

5. Wednesday, as I am sure a good number of my regular readers will know, was Ash Wednesday. This is the first year that I've attended an Ash Wednesday service since I was confirmed, which was about eight or nine years ago. I went to church early, as it turned out, and was about to leave because no one was there. However, the priest and her husband pulled in just before I would have resolved to leave and informed me that service was in fact forty-five minutes later than I had thought.
I was also invited to serve. I realize that at this point some of you will be thinking, "Here we must listen to how he served yet again," and you are quite right. You must.
This time I was asked to read the Litany of Penitence, which is very solemn and, well, penitent. I was also told I might be asked to give one of the readers, depending on whether anyone from the guest churches had been asked to read. (On important but low-attendence events like this, local churches will alternate holding services, with all of the priests or ministers presiding in whichever church is hosting it.) Rev. Lesley told me that David was here, so I wouldn't be expected to preach, and I said that that was a good thing because I'd forgotten to prepare a sermon. By the time we were ready to start, five of us--our priest, two other ministers, the deacon, and myself--were joking and laughing quite a bit. One of the other ministers was greeting people with "Solemn Ash Wednesday" rather than "Happy Ash Wednesday," but the rest of us were having an awfully hard time being solemn.
This is important, personally, because here I was, a young guy and a new one to town, and I was able to stand and joke around with four ordained members of the church, all mature and congregationally important people. I felt like I was invited to hang out with the big kids, and we all know how great that feels.
And then, when the time came, I read the Litany of Repentence, though I hadn't expected to be reading it from a kneeling position. My knees were very vividly remembering when I had abused them so badly on the ship's decks. I nonetheless found that I could project my voice from that posture and I was very solemn and penitent. I do hope I helped convey the emotion of the responsive reading. It can be very difficult to worship to a drone, I know. Not that anyone in our church is guilty of that.
Well, there's more to say, but I'll move onto another point because this hasn't been quick at all.

6. I have found more blogs to read, which is a terrible, terrible thing. I have too many to read as is.

7. Hmmm. What else to say? Other than what I've said, there isn't a whole lot going on with me. So I'll stop #7 now to make up for the monstrously bloated numbers 2 and 5.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Cepaea nemoralis

or, The Grove Snail

You little nomads, keep your secrets banked
Inside your yellow Atlas-shoulder stores,
And hide within those rounds your patient lores,
Enclosed among your kind, disliked, unthanked.
Or pass between you glacial wisdom, slow-footed news.
At leafy caravanaries you trade
Among your gradual people, from gardens strayed;
To them reveal your gospel, them, in conch-like pews.
You are tucked, your puckered foot is bare.
I pluck you from my palm and you unfurl
Your body; prongs are, like the point, in air,
A question mark, your shell the inward-questing curl.
Why trust your tender self to me, one bred
In a speed-mad world from which all wisdom's fled?

I wrote this on Monday (the 15 of Feb), on the Winter Road between Fort Chipewyan and Fort McMurray. One of the things I miss about Ontario are the snails, especially the yellow ones, which from Wikipedia I gather are Cepaea nemoralis, or grove snails. I have written about the snail's wisdom before, but I decided to try the idea again. Actually, I like some of "Eulogy for the Garden," but not the whole thing. It needs a lot of work yet, and that's something I will some day give it. In the meantime, I'll expand the snail bit in a sonnet and not free verse. As the New Englander says in The Tommyknockers, "Real poims rhyme."

Re-written, so the line-breaks match the pauses:

You little nomads,
keep your secrets banked inside your yellow Atlas-shoulder stores,
and hide within those rounds your patient lores,
enclosed among your kind,
disliked, unthanked.
Or pass between you glacial wisdom,
slow-footed news;
At leafy caravanaries you trade among your gradual people, from gardens strayed;
to them reveal your gospel, them, in conch-like pews.
You are tucked, your puckered foot is bare.
I pluck you from my palm and you unfurl your body;
prongs are, like the point, in air, a question mark, your shell the inward-questing curl.
Why trust your tender self to me,
one bred in a speed-mad world from which all wisdom's fled?

Monday, 15 February 2010

The Fort Chip Adventure: Where I Play With Husky Pups and Go Dogsledding

On Saturday night we went dogsledding. The following a pictures taken from this event. Hopefully the video works.

The Fort Chip Adventure: Where We Take the Winter Access Road North

These photos are of the Winter Access Road stretching north of Fort McMurray to Fort Chipewyan. Some of them will be blurry, unfortunately, because I took them from a moving vehicle. These may seem repetitive, and I'm sorry about that; I tried to stick to different types of forest or terrain.

Notice what the sign is attached to.

I am posting a disproportionate amount of pictures of the Delta (below) than of the Sand Hills (above) because I think many of my readings will find the Delta more visually unique than the Sand Hills. Also, we stopped more often on the Delta, leading to better photos.
Here we are entering the Delta.

In this photo there is a ptarmigan.

If you can, look closer at the photo below; you will be able to see Fort Chipewyan in the distance.

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