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SHERPS arrive at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

SHERPS arrive at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Kaity Barnes photo.

Story and photos by Kaity Barnes

Sunday, July 7, 2019 was a day filled with anticipation at Seal River Heritage Lodge. A film crew had arrived a few days earlier with the intention of creating a video based on whether they could become polar bear guides in less than a week (not possible).

Churchill Wild had purchased two SHERPS for the upcoming season and we were looking forward to seeing them. A crew from the lodge had traveled back to our hanger in Churchill to participate in the trek of a lifetime up the Hudson Bay coast from Churchill to Seal River.

As the day went on, no one paid too much attention to what was coming back to the lodge. Once in communication range however, we knew that they would be back before nightfall and we started to get excited about their arrival.

After dinner, a few of us were sitting in the lounge area playing cards while others hung around in hopes of catching a glimpse of the new SHERPS as they bounced in and over the rocks. Crawling closer and closer, we were all now at the windows, looking through the telescope, passing the binoculars back and forth to watch these amazing vehicles on their approach.

We made it! SHERP crew at Seal River.

We made it! SHERP crew at Seal River.

With the distance between us still being too far for the naked eye to see, the SHERPS looked like little mars rovers conquering rocks and mud on a different planet. It wasn’t until they were about 500 feet from the lodge that we were able to understand just how robust they actually were. As the SHERPS drove through the gate to the lodge, we couldn’t stop staring. Later, standing beside one of the tires, which are specially designed to travel over any type of terrain with a minimum of impact, I felt small in comparison.

Having vehicles like this at the lodge really opens up opportunities to travel along the coast at low tide and visit places where other types of all-terrain vehicles cannot go. The SHERPS will allow us to further explore the Hudson Bay coast with minimal impact on the environment, travelling over self-repairing coastal areas, across rocks and over water, to areas where no man has gone before.

I can’t wait to see the photos!

SHERP in front of Seal River Heritage Lodge.

SHERP in front of Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Follow Kaity on Instagram @kbarnescreations

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