Sorry I've been so MIA. I did this great hike around Tuk and up to the DEW line and then proceeded to get a flu bug and spend the next week in bed. Or trying to go to school, fainting and having to come back home. You'd think this would mean ample time to write, but you'd be wrong. It was ample time to sleep. Also my vision was super blurry. So that's enough excuses.
I'm a big nut for Google maps. If you look at Tuktoyaktuk on Google maps, I took 96% of the photos (Jana took the other 4) and I've been putting all the businesses and everything on there and trying really hard to get the street names. When I moved here, anything in Tuk was just placed in the center of town and it was impossible to find anything. This is my little way of helping tourists and newbies.
So last weekend I wanted to get more businesses onto Google maps. If you live in the area, PLEASE go on google maps and go to "My contributions" in the sidebar and verify some of my edits so they can go up faster please! And add all your local knowledge.
I met up with Jana and one of her photography students and we took on the eastern side of Tuk. And then we went hiking up to the DEW line.
It's pretty easy in the summer, I'd wager. You just follow the road until you're there. But it wasn't all cleared or melted so about half way it went from leisurely stroll to major hike and up to my hip in snow.
It had been cleared semi recently when they brought up fuel and new supplies to the DEW line. We thought we heard a helicopter, but it was the generator. The North Warning System is up and at-em listening to the skies and taking pictures of interlopers.
It was pretty warm, but still cold when we left the confines of town.
I'd walk in Jana's footprints so I wouldn't get a surprise by sinking.
The snow drifts and dunes look like sand.
Our muddy footprints on the clean untouched snow. Also, yes these are mine and I walk weird. Bad knees, etc.
From snow and ice back to mud as we approach the area. No Keep Outs or barbed wire here.
This lovely attempt at barbed wire is further down the hill on your way to the DEW line.
I don't know what this is other than a lot of old boats and shipping containers. It might be for if the harbour gets fully functional again, Jana took more photos of the ships frozen in the sea.
Just googled, It's where the ferries and boat shipments come in. The Federal government provides the security I guess. Or as was said in 2006: "We are taking steps to address priority security needs in our transportation system to help ensure it remains secure and efficient. This funding will give ports and marine facilities the opportunity to make improvements to security, so they can be better equipped to address potential terrorist threats."
Man between Drayton, West Edmonton and Tuk, I sure have been living at terror targets. (Drayton being headquarters for a LOT of oil companies and having a lot of pipelines crossing and such. West Edmonton of course having the mall and Tuk having... the DEW line and access to sneaking in to our shores?)
I watched a video of Tuk in 1987. It looks exactly the same. That's how you can tell it's Canada. Western Canada anyway, nothing really looks more current than 1987. Sometime in the late 70's/mid 80's I think there was a lot of funding for building things. Like when you go to the Edmonton LRT stations downtown and you might as well have gone through a time machine. Not a complaint and I'm sure Toronto is modern and with it. But to me, you could watch an episode of like... The Beachcombers and know that's pretty much what lots of Canada still looks like.
I don't know why The Beachcombers is my reference... I'd always change the channel when it came on TV Land or DejaView because it was boring and too Canadian for my prepubescent tastes.
For modern rural western Canada I guess Corner Gas is the better reference point.
And if you're a young'un or just not Canadian, watch some Royal Canadian Air Farce. Early seasons only please. Once the new hip young cast came on, it just wasn't the same. (Apparently I was 10 when the new cast came on... remember that I was a child hipster) Having said that, it's topical Canadian humor from 20 years ago. So if you are a young'un or not Canadian you probably won't enjoy it at all. ( Also, if you are an old Canadian and you haven't seen Rick Mercer's Talking to Americans. First of all WHERE WERE YOU IN 2001?!. Second of all WATCH IT NOW, IT IS A NATIONAL TREASURE)
Here's two of my favourite skits:
Politically Correct "O, Canada".
I Am Mike. From Canmore.
Well, now that I've gone off on an insane tangent about Canadian television...
Yes you can get right up close enough to hear banging and clanging inside. Seriously a good horror movie could be made, especially at one of the abandoned DEW line sites.
Epcot, it's not.
The most military looking part.
Too many stairs for something that isn't a water slide... Eagles, Hawks and Ravens often nest up there.
That day a falcon was defending her nest.
The view of Tuk.
The top one looks just like a big white soccer ball.
There are lots of really cool rocks and fossilized wood. I filled my pockets...
For a military installation, it is really peaceful out there and if you're in Tuk and feel like a little hike, I do recommend going up there for a picnic or something. In the summer when the water is actually moving it's probably even nicer, (except for all the bugs)
I finally got my picture with the Welcome to Tuk sign. It's going to be replaced soon with a new design. But for now, I've got a better picture for the front page, haha. (This is right by the airport)
On Tuesday I found fresh goose feet at the base of the slide when the kids were out for recess. Also a bunch of dead mice, but the goose feet were more interesting and less disgusting.
It is hunting season and the kids love to practice their goose calls and duck calls at recess. We've been learning about local birds and spending lots of time outside looking and listening.
In my last blog I asked what you'd like to see, Cheryl asked to see a snow man. And one of my students provided, with the teeniest tiniest snow man you ever did see.
Just a reminder to comment with what you'd like to see! I'll do my best. My grocery post is coming up soon.
Hello! So I arrived back in Tuk on Friday after a 3 day journey (Edmonton-Whitehorse. Whitehorse-Inuvik. Inuvik-Tuk) to wonderful food and my nice warm bed.
The ice road has officially closed down today, so from now on, all our groceries and everything will be coming via plane. Prices will be going up accordingly. It also means no more day trips to Inuvik for this girl. (Not that I went on very many.)
I have 2 months left at the top of the world. My job with these wonderful kids comes to an end on June 30th and then I'm back to Edmonton, July 2nd, and in Portugal, July 10-25th! In September, I will start working at my new position in Joussard, Alberta teaching kindergarten. It's a beautiful area, right on Slave Lake, but probably not necessarily blog worthy. (3 hours from Edmonton and DV. 45 mins from a Walmart. I know who I am now and what I need.)
When I went up North, I thought I was a certain kind of person, one who can do without and enjoy that lifestyle. While I can certainly do without with a smile on my face, as my 3 months without a working smart phone shows, I don't necessarily enjoy it. Not the way I enjoy Winners or Bulk Barn or Simons or Whyte Ave or West Edmonton Mall or even Walmart.
My mom says that it's good I found myself. But usually when people do that whole Eat Pray Love garbage, the point is finding out all that they can do without and that they are less materialistic than they believed. And it was the opposite for me... So that's ironic. But... I did used to go to Winners or Bulk Barn as my happy place in university. When I walked back into Bulk Barn again, the level of calm that descended over me was like a Xanax. So it's true. I love shopping, I love stuff. I love Ikea and Costco and McDonalds. I love that I got to splurge on my hair and throw out my cheap cosmetics in favour of a shopping spree at Sephora. i love that I got to have my unicorn frappucino and utilize my 2 day Amazon prime shipping. I love going for ice cream or nachos or burgers or sushi with my friends. I love going to Yoga with my DV bestie and hanging out with my YEG besties and the world's cutest freaking dog and going shopping on 124th. I love walking across town for ice cream and catching up with my little sister and all the TV we've missed. I have to remember that I do have a diploma in Fashion Marketing and that I love it. I'm not Laura Ingalls, but I'm not Becky Bloomwood either. I'm a small town girl with big city tastes. But that city is more Edmonton than NYC.
I love Edmonton because no one will ever say Edmonton is the greatest city in the world, or Canada or even Alberta. It's not a city that people are snobby about. A best selling t-shirt reads "Still in Edmonton". People don't take it so seriously like Vancouverites or Torontonians. It's a weird little city with ridiculous architecture and horrendous city planning, but there is always something to do and amazing restaurants appear out of nowhere. And if you're in Edmonton, my favourite restaurants are on top of each other: El Cortez and Have Mercy. I also love the Sugarbowl like most former UofA students, and Maki Maki and A-Plus for cheap quick asian eats.
City girl in my city clothes in my amazing airbnb. If you want to go to Edmonton and want an amazing home base close to Whyte Ave (like 5 minute walk) You need to rent Brett's Airbnb! If you don't have an airbnb account already, sign up with my referral code so we can both get some travel credit!
I'm clearly a mallrat. I need my side pony and scrunchie to really complete the look of a girl who genuinely enjoys wasting time and loitering at the mall even when she's not shopping...
My Whyte Ave haul. Books, dress, vest, sorbet and kombucha.
Unicorn Frappucino at the Edmonton airport on the way back to Tuk.
Blueberry and Lychee ic cream from the new ice cream store in Drayton Valley.
So with 2 months left here, what would you like to see or hear about? Keeping in mind that I'm a teacher and have to maintain a certain image. (So no bikinis on the Arctic Ocean, unfortunately.)
Please comment below using Facebook comments or through the contact page and I'll use you suggestions to guide my photos and adventures!