I just got home from 10 days in Canada’s arctic including 6 days in Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. It’s 148 km north of Inuvik and since 2017 is accessible by road.
Something called me to go as far north as the road went hoping that it would be a special experience and it was. One thing I noticed is that by going to the extremes of climate, geography, culture etc I learned new things about the middle ie my life in Calgary. Specifically the things that stuck out included 24 hours of daylight. It was a challenge to go to bed when at midnight it’s still completely light out, kids are playing in the playground and life is just going on. Standing on the edge of the Arctic Ocean and realizing that I’m at the top of the world.
Another thing that I learned is that in the Arctic you can not survive on your own. You have to be connected to everyone else. There are times you will need their help and there are times you need to help them. In the city we can live with the illusion that we can get by on our own.
In the north you also learn some new lessons about letting go. The prices in the stores are 2 to 3 times more expensive than in the city but if you need it you just have to buy it. My favourite example was tomatoes 2 lbs for $17.99. Also if you can’t get it in the store then you can’t get it. It has to be shipped in which takes time and money.
Finally for people who love their connectivity in my week in Tuk I was never able to connect to the internet. I finally gave up. Phone service was great but not internet. Other people told me that they use it but I was never able to access it. It turned out that I was quite happy to stay unconnected.
I flew from Calgary to Inuvik.
A great initiative in the Arctic is the creation of community greenhouses to help bring fresh produce to the Arctic. The largest is in Inuvik in a converted hockey rink. People can rent individual plots and some is grown for a market.
Because Inuvik is built on permafrost water & sewage services must be above ground.
When the sun was out everything was transformed.
Laverna, owner of the Smitty’s B & B, where I stayed was a real help during my stay and became a friend.
This field was totally dry the day before. A major storm brought the ocean right into town.
Pingos are hills that are formed by ice heaving up. They are a very well know landscape feature in this area.
This car top tent is an extremely sturdy and comfortable solution for travelling with a small car. The ladder is a structural element that gives it a lot strength.
On my last night Laverna and her granddaughter, Hanna drove me around. We went up to the DEW Station and I took some photos.
It was a great trip!
I’ll remember it for a long time.