Monday, March 26, 2007

Boycott Whitehorse Motors!

Yes, you heard right! So you may be wondering why I'm back the day after I said I was going to be gone for a week...well Whitehorse Motors is your answer. We set out (my brother and I) this morning with the intention of making it to Whitehorse by tonight, but once we got to Eagle Plains (a truck stop about 180km from Fort McPherson on the Yukon side of the border) my brother received a call saying that Whitehorse Motors (hiss! boo!) had called and said they ordered the wrong parts for the vehicle in which we were driving down to Whitehorse to have fixed. Soooooooooo the whole trip would have been for nothing basically. Nothing practical anyways. But I did get to enter Yukon for the first time (but not the last! You're such a whore Yukon) and drive across the Arctic Circle.

So anyways, while I don't really have much to write for an update, I did take some pictures during the drive. Sorry for the shitty picture quality but most of the pics were taken through the truck window, and you're insane if you think for a minute that I was going to roll down the window every time I wanted to take a picture. I mean really though, what have you done for me lately? And also, it must have been near -50 going on the mountains, sooooooo I was a little tentative about leaving the warm warm truck. Forgive me. And one more thing, don't worry because I don't have massive cracks and nicks all over my camera lens, as again, the windshield was also going to be replaced. (Damn you Whitehorse Motors!)Okay here goes:

Here we are starting out from Fort McPherson on the Dempster Hwy:

Getting a bit closer to the Richardson Mountains (which, by the way, are the northernmost extremity of the Rocky Mountains we all know and love):

And now we're starting to go in through the mountains (and yes, I realize they aren't that big, but they still looked pretty cool, and I've lived a sheltered life, and I was hungry, and kinda tired, and well...)

Soon we arrived at the Yukon border, where the sun is obviously much brighter (hence the goofy look on my face at the top of the post):

To survive at the Yukon border, it takes a special kind of person,-NO...a special kind of MAN:

Soon after the border we arrived at the Arctic Circle, where everything is backwards. For instance, hamburgers eat people! And instead of signs shitting on birds, birds shit on signs! See here:

Oh wait, I guess that's just like everywhere else. But still, what I said about the hamburgers stands true.
Eventually, we arrived at what was unknowingly our halfway point for the day, Eagle Plains. I'd show you a picture of it but it's kinda pointless. In the middle of absolutely nowhere, there's a gas pump, a restaurant, and a lounge. It's called the Millions Lounge! I'm not really sure why though. And I just added the exclamation point after lounge to make you more excited. Did it work? (!!!!!!) Something funny I did notice was that right before you hit Eagle Plains there's a sign that says "NEXT SERVICE STOP: 385KM". I think it'd be fun to slow down in front of the gas pump like they'd all be expecting you to, and then speed off! They'd be all like "what are you doing!!?? Didn't you see that sign back there!?" Those cocky bastards.
Instead, I'll show you this snazzy sign:

and the view from the gas pump:

So after a quick meal (by the way, if you're ever hankerin' for a good cheeseburger, try hitting up the Eagle Plains Restaurant. Sure it's a bit out of the way, but whooooo boy talk about good eatin!) we began back to Fort McPherson, only to find out that the road had disappeared!!

Then I turned to my brother and was all like "what we gonna do??"
and he was all like "yeeeeeee friggidy hawwwwwwwww!"


(I think we're actually going to Whitehorse for real next week. So stay tuned.)

(and keep with the comments anyone who is reading, I wanna know what other people are up to. Or not up to. Or what they ate. Or what they thought about eating, but then decided they weren't going to eat that, and then decided on eating something compeltely different.)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Local scenery and the weather...

Hello all. So I figured I'd give a little insight into what the local area really looks like, and while I haven't really taken many pictures of Fort McPherson itself, this will give you at least some idea I hope. If not, you should really re-evaluate your life, because this really isn't that tough.
Okay I'm sorry, you'll have to forgive me, I'm a little on edge what with all these griffin sized ravens flying around all the time. You gotta see these things! I'll try and get a photo of one soon, but just so you know, I'm putting the safety of my eyeballs at risk by attempting to confront these creatures. As you may or may not know, I never exaggerate. Nope, not me, ever. In all seriousness, there are tons of huge ravens here though, and apparently they're considered sacred to some degree by the natives, so they don't mess with them. They're like crows, only twice the size and they drop pieces of meat from the sky, and will sit on the side of the road chewing away at caribou bones. To say that it's a little intimidating is an understatement. And they're always messing with your head, what with their cat-calls and whistling and slaps on the ass. It really just makes me uncomfortable. Maybe it just takes some getting used to.

Besides the ravens, things are good. The days are long, the snow is pure powder, and the days are hella cold. Or should I say heaven cold. I don't know. Anyways, many of the communities here are only accessible in the winters by ice roads, much like the one in this picture:

It was a bit weird driving over one in a full size truck, but eventually you don't think about it. It was especially weird while skidooing to stop and look down and see a massive crack in the ice, but fortunately the ice freezes to be many feet thick so again, you don't think about it. Probably my favourite place to go walking or show shoeing is out on the Peel River, as you can go for hours, and always have the option of going up the river bank into the woods. Here's me on the river sans snowshoes:

(aren't I amazing? If you said're correct!)

The winds can be a bit brutal on the river but otherwise there's hardly any wind and hence no wind chill. The cold really isn't that bad here like you might think. In Nova Scotia it might only be -10 but with the windchill and moisture in the air it feels more like -25 no doubt. Here it'll be -25 but no wind and zero moisture. Sure it's still a ride through hell, but at least it's like having a window seat.

With the exception of maybe 2 days, the sky is always clear and sunny. The colour of the sky is almost surreal at times during midday or sunset. I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with being unemployed, but oddly enough, I don't think I've been up early enough to catch a sunrise. (But hey Alex, I thought you said before the sun doesn't come up till 10 or later?) Shut up you.
Anyways, here's the sky midday:

annnnnnnnd here it is near sunset:

While we're (or just me) talking about the sky, I was able to catch the northern lights a few nights ago. It was the first time I think I've ever seen them really. They don't photograph that well but I gave it a shot anyways. And not with a gun, with a camera. Only Old Man Jenkins next door shoots his rifle at the Northern Lights. Ahhh Old Man Jenkins, I'll never tire of your ways.

(sorry about the artifact on the picture)

As for the hamlet (delicious!) itself, here's a semi-view of it. (yes I'm lazy and just took this picture out of my window).

You can see the Anglican Church waaaaaay off in the distance, and the Peel River is just off to the left. Here's the school, which ranges from 1-12 I think. It's actually a lot bigger than I thought it'd be. (Not that any of the kids really attend anyways)

And last but not least, I should probably mention the wild dogs that roam loose all over the place, and will attack without warning! See here:

okay so maybe they're not really wild. But that is one of the dozens if not hundreds of big dogs tied up all over the place. A lot of them are sled dogs. It's weird to have dogs tied up all over the place and out in the middle of the woods , but they're alright. I was attacked the other day by a vicious out of town rabid dog though. Behold!:

haha okay you got me, that's Duchess, my brother's dog. But can you not see the fear and terror that her sweater and adorable doggie mittens could inspire!?! PURE TERROR!!

Anyways, I won't be able to do any updates for the next week or so as I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go on a road trip to Whitehorse, Yukon. We'll be travelling on the Dempster Highway till we hit Dawson, and a lot of it goes up through the mountains so it should be AWE INSPIRING! do you hear me? AWE. Apparently Whitehorse is to the Yukon what New Minas is to the Annapolis Valley, so we're doing some shopping and fun stuff like that. Have a good week you all. S'long!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Rest of the trip up...

Right, so where was I? ah yes, the rest of the trip. So after the hell that was the Edmonton Airport, we switched from West Jet over to First Air which was saaawwweeeet! Talk about leg room! do it! no? alright fine we don't have to if you don't want to. But can we talk about meals? For the first leg from Edmonton to Yellowknife we got a nice breakfast:

And hot towels too! I had no idea what to do with it at first, buuuuuuuuut eventually I figured it out. My shoes were so clean for the rest of that flight! Everything about the flight north was more enjoyable. Nicer views, only 15 people on the entire flight, free booze, and of course, free cloud watching. Now I may not have flown much, but I'm preeeetty sure other airlines charge you too look at the clouds. Did I mention I had to sell 6 vital organs to afford the flight? They don't tend to tell you how much it costs to fly north in all the pretty advertisements to come north.

The Yellowknife airport was about the size of the Subway on Quinpool Road. Have you tried the new Meatball Sub at Subway for just $4.99!? Because it is amazing. On a totally unrelated note, today's update was brought to you by Quinpool Road Subway. Subway, Eat Fresh.

So that pretty much sums up the actual flights to arrive in the north. We hopped on another plane to fly into Inuvik, and then drove down to Fort McPherson.
Total time flying was about...12 hours I think? Total time travelling though was.....roughly...32 hours. Fun yes?

Okay so now that that's out of the way, I'll try and post some pics of Ft McPherson itself, but Blogger is being a dick and takes like 20 min to post one pic, so I'm trying to find an alternative host for my pics. Thanks to anyone who has checked this out so far, and feel free to leave me some comments and let me know whats going on. Or not. But yeah, you might as well do it.

Real pictures!

Okay so I took a little longer than expected, but what's a day? Speaking of days, I'm still having a rough time adjusting to the whack days up here. Sun doesn't come up till I dunno, maybe 10 or so, and then doesn't completely go down till 10 or a few minutes after. Luckily, I'm unemployed and productive daylight hours mean nothing to me. But still! Think of the employed won't you?!
For instance, here's a shot overlooking the Peel River at about 9:30pm:

It stays kinda of twilighty like this for a good hour or 2.

But anyways...the trip? What trip? Ahh yes, the trip. The trip up here was a mix of good and bad. Halifax to Toronto was as predictable as you'd expect, and Toronto to Calgary was pretty uneventful too. There was this guy sitting beside my sister who was about 19 and had a tape measure on his hip. Apparently he was in soap sales? And he had a borderline obsession with arm wrestling? seriously? All I know is that he scorned my sister and I for our longings to get drunk once we got off the plane.
So then we arrive at the Calgary airport for a 3 hour stopover. Instantly, of course, we make a bee line (b-line? jet line? walking in a straight line quickly?) to the bar to get some much needed nourishment.

(I swear that Blue was only there because they ran out of Keith's!)
So anywho, the couple sitting beside us turns out to be a couple of Newfie's so we sat and talked with them for most of the rest of the time. They were both about in their 40's, and she was actually kinda hot, but I'll leave that for another time. He, on the other hand, looked just like Johnny Leopold.

So then we make the quick 40 minute flight to Edmonton where we had to hunker ( did I just make that word up?) down for the night as our flight north wasn't until 12 hours later (the next morning). I think this pretty much sums up the Edmonton airport:

Notice the glee and excitement in my pinky toe on my right foot...

Now I know what you're thinking: why not run around and play on the grass outside the airport? Well don't bother cause I was thinking the same thing only to hurry through the revolving door to....

I thought the Halifax airport was boring but Edmonton has gained newfound (dis)respect for the time being.

Okay so maybe you're getting bored of this by now, but for those of you still sticking around I promise I'll continue later with pics of places not everyone and their late barber has already seen. Soon. You'll see. You'll all see.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Also, I'm planning on posting some pictures I didn't steal from another website at some point in the near future. Could be next week, could be tomorrow, hell I might not even post them at all! But seriously, in all likelyhood I'll post some later tonight. In the mean time...train hard, stay fit, and most importantly...stay.....ALIVE!

So it begins...

Alright so first of all, I'm new to this whole "blogging" thing, so if I suck at it, blame yourself for not having shown me how to properly do it sooner. If there's one thing I'm not, it's at fault. Also, I'm not too sure if anyone will even read this. But I tried, and......-well what the hell did you do?

Now that that's out of the way.....hi! My name is Alex, and I decided about a month ago that I was going to move to the Northwest Territories, and I got here a week ago. Why did I move to such a hell forsaken place? (you might ask?)I have a brother/sister-in-law/2 nephews here so I figured why not. It's not everyday that someone offers to let you mooch off them for an indefinite period. And mooch I have. My sister also has moved up, but only for about 2 months for something to do. So your next question is probably, "Why the hell am I reading this blog when his sister most likely could create a far superior one?"........ummm well you see....there's this thing...and....uhh...good question.
Who likes geography! Because if not, I'm sorry but you're being really difficult. Just mess off alright? Anyways, I'm living in the hamlet (sounds delicious doesn't it?) of Fort McPherson, which is about 2 hours south of Inuvik (the main town of the Western Arctic region, and also the largest Canadian settlement north of the Arctic Circle.). It's also quite close to the Yukon border. Aw hell I'll just show you a map instead:

This one shows in relation to Canada:

And here we are, all up in its grill:

There's about 750 people here, of which about 50 are non-aboriginal. That makes me a minority! Finally, I have arrived in life. There's a CO-OP grocery store/post office, a Northern store, a Tent & Canvas store, and......that's all I can think of right now. I'm sure theres possibly 1 other place I'm forgetting. Okay maybe I'm being generous. I think I got them all.
So there's a brief intro to Fort McPherson.
I dunno how often I'll be able to update this blog if at all, seeing as how I'm currently unemployed and you all know how tough it is to find free time when unemployed. But also, because I don't know where I'll be living or working in the near future. So eat it up while you can! nyah!

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