By Sarah Bouckoms
“The boat is here” were the words I wrote in my diary as we watched the calm waters being broken by the bow of a small silver boat. In it contained the first person in two months we saw who was not a JIRPer. But it held so much more meaning than the weight of our Captain. It was a passageway to Atlin, BC. The final call that we were off the Icefield. The summer adventures were over. But there was still more work to be done. In Atlin we would be busy doing things like showering, laundry and eating ice cream. After those necessities were taken care of the students needed to busy themselves finalizing their presentations for the citizens of Atlin. The students were divided into groups based on topic area to each talk about their work. Each student found it hard to pack a summer of research in 3 minutes, but with a bit of practice we pulled it off. After the talks we enjoyed a cookie and a hot drink with the community. Earlier in the day, Mary Gianotti, Stephanie Streich and Christiane McCabe busied themselves in the kitchen making cookies. 400 of them. There were chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, shortbread and peanut butter with chocolate Hershey kisses.
Giving presentations in Atlin after completing the traverse has been a long-standing JIRP tradition. It gives the students a chance to work on their public speaking, but more importantly it is a social event in Atlin not to be missed. We were overwhelmed with the enthusiasm shown as we entered the shops or laundromat. No one cared that we were stinky since we had not showered yet. Everyone was just excited to hear how our summer went.
Atlin was a great transition back into civilization. It was quite bizarre to see things such as cars and telephone poles, cute little shops and animals. Luckily for us, the streets were not so busy so it was not a problem that we treated the roads like a trail and took to walking down the center of the street. Atlin gave us a great welcome with its sunny days, warm water for swimming and clear nights for Aurora gazing. We joked that if we had been plopped down in New York City there would have been casualties in minutes. Thank you citizens of Atlin for the warm welcome and hospitality you offered, we are all grateful for the easy transition.
[NOTE: Click on any of the images below to open a slideshow with all photos and captions.]