Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I taught Aquafit yesterday morning and got home about 1:00. At 2 a few friends called to see if I wanted to drive to the Yukon border to try to find the migrating caribou. Of course I did you fools! They arrived in about 20 minutes and we were off.
I’d been as far as Tsiigehtchic twice, but never further. You can drive the distance to the border in about 3 ½ hours, but we took our time and stopped to see any wildlife we could find.
We did stop to help change someone’s flat tire. Well, my help involved taking photos.
Richard and Marc Andre changing tire.
Past Tsiigehtchic the scenery almost immediately gets more interesting. Small mountains come into view and you get into some tundra (easier to spot animals).
On Tsiigehtchic ferry.
No telephone poles!
Marc Andre 'helping' the road workers.
Jen at Yukon border.
Anytime you see vehicles pulled over on the Dempster you perk up and assume they see something. It’s usually true. We did see a truck pulled over and saw a small herd of caribou. The people pulled over had walked down the rocky hillside to get a closer look. We were wondering if they realized the caribou kept moving away making them harder for them and us to see…ultra maroons, we thought! Luckily, Richard had binoculars.
BANG!! Oh…oh okay, so they actually wanted to get closer for better aim (not with their camera). They did get one.
Snow still around on these small mountains.
Moving on. We saw some people along the road picking berries, which we looked for on the way home but just found some cranberries not ripe yet for picking. We did see one lone caribou with his big antlers closer than the others had been.
BANG!! Not again. No, this time it was our tire that needed changing. So, don’t forget a spare tire or two for the Dempster. We saw a few more caribou while this was happening.
Returning to NWT.
We didn’t go too much further before turning around. Not far along there was a bear fairly close to the road. Being scared of humans, he headed off the other way in an awesome run.
Bear along Dempster Highway.
Another bear was spotted on a hillside. He had caught or was digging for something.
We saw a fox running up a hillside, a rabbit run across the road, lots of ptarmigan (birds), and ground squirrels. All in all, a good tally of wildlife for this trip.
We arrived home, after some interesting conversation, at midnight. Graham had gone out with some friends to watch UFC, but was already home when I came in. We both had fun.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
To work off this amazing treat, we set out to walk around the Boot Lake Trail nearby. It was overcast day, but no rain yet. The trail was pretty muddy and flooded in some parts but we made it by. A few detours were needed. Partway through, it did start to rain but, coincidentally, we walked by a makeshift tepee just off the trail. We ducked into that for the few minutes it rained.
If someone were watching us we may have sounded a little crazy, but with it being bear season we had to keep making noise. Our skills must have worked because we didn’t see any on our walk.
They got to see the cemetery. There are very few grave markers made of stone. Simple, wooden crosses make up the majority. It’s not very big since the town hasn’t been around for too long.
The trail can be walked in under an hour but we took almost three hours. I could embellish on the birds’ nest and ravens that we saw but, honestly, it was because bottles and cans are worth 10 cents a piece and alcohol 25 cents! We couldn’t walk by them – the guilt was too much.
I’m telling you, one could live off of bottles and cans up here. We’ve made 100’s off of them since February.
The thing was, I thought that by the end of the day, we had done everything there was to do in this town. It turned out, this wasn't the case.
We started off at the Visitors’ Centre, which gives information about Inuvik, but also has physical objects from the north. Leathers, beadwork, animals, etc.
We got a tour of the Community Greenhouse, which is in the old arena. Garden plots are requested and paid for yearly. The daycare that I work at has a plot so I’ve been able to get my hands dirty in that one. When you have a plot you also have a number of volunteer hours that you must fill. Giving tours is one way to do that. Everything is really grown up in there now.
We walked through Aurora College. As is the case with some of the public buildings in Inuvik, you are asked to remove your shoes in the college. Mud and dust is the reason for that.
The pool and arena were next. The curling and skating rinks were being set up for the Inuvik Petroleum Show, which is the biggest ‘show’ all year. Not exactly an exciting event unless you have something to do with petroleum. The town is really clean around that time, so that’s a perk. Mom and Dad were impressed with the pool, which both Graham and I work at. You can see photos of the pool at www.inuvik.ca (it’s called the Inuvik Family Centre).
That evening, Deanna and Dave picked the four of us up to go for a drive along the Dempster Highway. A ‘highway’ that when another vehicle goes by you are left in a thick cloud of dust for half a kilometre. Our first stop was the golf course. Dave showed us the portable greens that you carry with you to each hole when no grass is available. There is a driving range on which you frequently lose the ball you hit to the ravens that swoop down and swipe them. Saves running out to get them yourself I guess.
The first wildlife sighting was an owl and the lemming he caught in front of us. I could be lying since I have no photos to prove that part but we did get some of the owl himself.
We pulled over at one creek where a guy was fishing with his dog. Mom giggled nervously when I pointed out what was hooked on his belt. She wished it were a gun, but it was bear spray. It’s hard not to use it on the bugs sometimes along the Dempster.
At another creek we pulled over because Dad spotted a beaver swimming in it. He eventually started to flip up in the water and slap his tail down (the beaver, not Dad), so we took his warning and moved on.
After going over a few crests we reached the part of the river you need to take a ferry over to get to Tsiigehtchic. Again, it’s pronounced exactly how it’s spelled. ☺
Another beaver was by the shore here and we got some photos. This is where we turned around as it was around midnight. Notice that no flash was needed for photos…
Dad took a turn driving back
Now they’d even seen the Dempster. What the heck were we to do the rest of the time?
Will exaggerate more later,
Sunday, July 5, 2009
They spent a couple of nights in Yellowknife on their way here.
They arrived on Friday, June 12th in the afternoon. Graham picked them up at the airport. They lazed around our apartment until we were finished work at 5:30.
The excitement started that evening with a trip ‘uptown’ to the house that tipped over. Houses are built on pilings here to keep them off of the ground/permafrost. The pilings need to be checked often to make sure they’re sturdy. A few weeks after this happened, the town raised $20 000 for the woman who owns it.
Mom & Dad arrive in Inuvik.
House tipped off of pilings.