Icebergs, Jimi Hendrix, and a Million Shades of Blue

adventure book writing coach creative nonfiction greenland Oct 18, 2020

I found this B&W print today while unpacking from my recent move. I was 30 years old, flying out the next day for Greenland and my first overseas adventure-writing assignment for a major magazine. I reported the article and then found myself camped out for three weeks on a beach socked in by pack-ice and icebergs near a tiny coastal seal-hunting village, waiting for a helicopter to come get me. One afternoon, I walked into town to get groceries. I heard loud music coming from a school. I opened the door and went inside. I found three Inuit teenagers, members of a rock band, playing Jimi Hendrix songs. I'd hacked around on the guitar since I was a kid, and so I picked up one of their spare guitars and jammed with them for three hours. For real. A wonderful memory that still lives vividly inside me. I'll never forget the heli ride back to Nuuk over the Ice Cap and coastal peaks. More shades of blue than seemed possible. Picture taken in 1996 by Eric Swanson in Galisteo, New Mexico, near my then home.