The Year-Round Road to Tuktoyaktuk Is Finally Complete

Long-time readers may remember the heady days of my Klondike summers, when I finally fulfilled my dreams of seeing Canada’s far north. Oh, those days seem so far away now, but they are some of the months I will remember most fondly in my old age. They taught me that dreams really do not have deadlines and that achieving them is particularly sweet after you’d given up hope. I may never again drive the Alaska, Klondike and Dempster Highways again, may never again see a show at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s or fly over Tuktoyaktuk’s pingos, but I did it!

Exploring the north is going to get a little easier for tourists because this coming Wednesday, November 15th, 2017, after years of delays, the all-year gravel road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk is finally going to open. For the first time in Canada’s history, it will be possible to drive year-round to each of our three coasts.

I would like to invite you reread my series about Driving the Dempster Highway and to revisit the towns of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. I feel privileged to have done so and to have spoken to locals so that I know that while this year-round road will change life in Tuk, in some ways not for the better, this road is ultimately a Good Thing worthy of celebration.

Standing in the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, August 2010

Fragrant Memories, Redux

Three years ago, I posted about the fragrant memories brought on by the purchase of tea in Edmonton.

That tea is long gone, but I haven’t given up on using tea as a souvenir. This very wet and dreary Lethbridge afternoon, I am enjoying a cup of the last of the tea I bought in Inuvik:

Arctic blend tea

I had bought an assortment of teas, so they’ve all been different. This one smells divine! It’s a sweet spicy blend that tastes like the tundra. I can’t describe it any better than that.

In unrelated news, could you resist rubbing this tummy?

I love the expression on Neelix’s face!

How Being Organized Can Help the Scatterbrained

In February, when I moved to Blaine and had the coffee shop nearby, I thought it would be good to bring my travel mug with me instead of using a disposable cup. But I couldn’t find the travel mug; it wasn’t anywhere in the kitchen and I wondered if I’d left it somewhere.

For the next few months, getting a new travel mug was at the back of my mind. Just a niggle. And I couldn’t help but wonder about the fate of my travel mug, that good Thermos-brand one I bought for the Chilkoot trip. But I never thought about it at a moment when I had time to think about the last time I remembered seeing it.

Last night, being unable to sleep, I decided to raid the cupboards one last time even though I’d just recently gone through them. All I could find was the stainless steel non-travel mug with tea strainer that I had bought in Inuvik.

Waitaminute.

Inuvik.

Where I purchased the stainless steel mug with strainer because I’d bought a bunch of strong teas and didn’t like how they transferred their taste to my travel mug.

The light bulb that went on was as bright as the bat signal! I suddenly knew exactly where my travel mug was!

I grabbed a shawl and raced outside, never mind the rain and darkness. I opened up the driver’s side rear pass-through door, pulled out the water hose and  miscellaneous hook-up gear plastic drawer, grabbed the tote with the camping supplies, and voilà!

See, if I’d been disorganized, I would have had no idea where the heck I put my camping stuff after I came back from Inuvik. But because that stuff has a home, I was able to put the tote away immediately in the rush of getting back to the madness of my second Klondike summer.

I really do need to get going on my ’empty out the entire basement and inventory it’ project. 😀

Sunshine From Inuvik

I don’t believe in coincidences and today was a perfect example of why.

I was offered the morning off from work and took it to catch up on things at home. This made it possible for me to have an earlier lunch than usual, which put me at the café just in time to run into friends I made in Inuvik who were just going through town for the day. We had lunch together then met up at Gerties tonight for drinks.

Needless to say, it’s been a great day!