Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email

- presents - 

Julie Yamaguchi

Tundra Tom & trip leader Joan Bliss first met Julie Yamaguchi In 1995 at the Chicago Adventure Show, where we had a booth set up. Julie lives in the Chicago area, where she works as a biochemist, and is a serious amateur photographer.  Julie had joined our mailing list that day in 95, but it took nine years before she took the step of coming to the Far North - and are we glad she did!  This is what Julie has to say about her two weeks with us on a 'Muskox, Autumn Colours & Aurora' trip to Canada's Arctic...


 "Tom, I confess I've been putting this letter off for awhile now, trying to sort out what to say when so much has already been written by others.  Their offerings are so eloquent I wasn't sure my contribution was even necessary.  So I'm not going to think of this as an entry for your Testimonial page, but rather as a chance to tell YOU what my trip to the Thelon meant to me.  During these weeks since my return, certain thoughts and feelings have been recurring each time I describe my trip to other people.."


"I found in the Thelon a beautiful wilderness, where I could sit by myself on a ridge and hear nothing but the wind.  I remember an afternoon relaxing against a boulder overlooking a wide valley, gazing off into the distance and letting my eyes relax, until I picked up the flight of a raven which had decided to check out this odd lump on the ridge (me).  I can still recall the wonder I felt as it passed closely overhead, for I could hear each beat of its wings as it flew by."

"I remember starting a hike on a sunny day, and seeing huge, fluffy clouds mirrored in the still waters of the lake.  We hadn't even gotten out of base camp yet, but I had to stop to admire and photograph the sky and the perfect reflection.  This was just another example of the timeless beauty I found in the Thelon, and whenever and wherever I paused to appreciate Nature's palette of colors I was grateful that on "Tundra Time" I could stay and absorb the sights and sounds for as long as I wanted to."

"I remember winds picking up and dark clouds rolling in during one of my hikes away from base camp.  I got caught in a hailstorm that afternoon.  I suppose I could have made a mad dash to camp, but why panic?  I covered my camera, zipped my weather-proof jacket, sat under some branches, and marveled at the storm.  Soon the elements realized they had an appreciative audience.  They cut the storm and brought out the show-stoppers - a brilliant rainbow arc from the clouds that looked like the express route from Asgard, and a horizon-spanning double rainbow.  Now wasn't that terrific?!?"

"I remember lamenting to Stephen after my first week in camp that I was probably the only guest without a good picture of a caribou.  He said I'd have one before I left, and sure enough, he made sure I did.  We were out on the lake fishing (which is a whole other story!) when we saw a pair of caribou moving just off the shore.  He managed to track them from the water, move us in close, and position us mere yards from where they paused to graze and rest." 

"I got to watch and shoot several frames of this magnificent, graceful animal without perturbing it in the slightest.  That time spent looking at the caribou - with it looking back at me - is one of the 'magical moment memories' I brought home with me."

"I remember my first night waiting for the Northern Lights.  They weren't spectacular that night, but a large number of us were lined up along the shore with our cameras and tripods.  Cheerful voices came out of the dark as people compared apertures and exposure times; I enjoyed the warmth and camaraderie of my fellow guests throughout my stay, even though I had arrived without knowing any of them before this trip."

"I remember a star-spangled night in South Camp, where the temperature had dropped quickly once the sun had set.  I sat with my back as close to the campfire as I could for warmth, but kept my eyes towards the sky in anticipation of the Northern Lights.  They danced for us that night!  Delicate streams of yellow and green, they wove patterns across the Big Dipper and all the other stars in the northern sky."  

"I was entranced, even as I tried my best to position tripod and camera, to bracket my exposure times & to freeze a fleeting moment of this magical show on film.

All the elements of that night combined to engender a rare and wonderful sense of well-being, seldom felt in my day-to-day routine and so all the more cherished.

    "I have some unfinished business Up North - I managed some pictures of Northern Lights and caribou. but I truly plan to return and to try again to photograph musk oxen and the other wildlife of the tundra.  Tom, please take care of yourself and keep fighting for this magical part of Mother Earth.  We would all be poorer if it is lost or damaged in the name of "progress."

"I came back from the Tundra with a new appreciation for its pristine beauty, a deep respect for your efforts to preserve it, and admiration for the people who lived here and loved the land.  Personally, I experienced an emotional and spiritual relaxation that carried over for weeks after my return.  I also had over 900 images to get developed, edited, printed, shown, and sent!"  


"Every picture brings back memories like those I've described above, of a wonderful place and time, and of extraordinarily dedicated and generous people - you and your staff.  Thank Andrew, Allicia, Larry, Stephen, Brad, Lloyd - and Yourself - for being my guides."


Julie Yamaguchi


Click here to learn more about the 'Muskox, Autumn Colours & Aurora' trips on which Julie participated


All photos on this page are copyright to Julie Yamaguchi - all rights reserved.  To contact Julie about using / purchasing her photography, contact us at




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