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 yes...you'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!
at 4:57 p.m.