Monthly Archives: March 2012

3 Years Ago…

Looking back it was March 16th, 2009, that I boarded a plane from Toronto and headed north to Nunavut for the very first time.  I was wildly excited, and ready for the next adventure–but really had no clue what to expect.  Like most people when I got ready to move north…I talked with 3 friends that lived in Nunavut asked advice of what to bring, what to expect…got lots of information.  This did help me but really the real learning happened after I started to experience things first hand with just living!

When I left Yellowknife  on Tuesday to head north to Cambridge Bay I met a family that was relocating there from BC.  It was really neat to see their excitement, about their move- and I was reminded about some of those initial shocks that I had that aren’t shocking anymore as I talked with them!   As we talked, they mentioned how they had read my blog…and loved my kamiks.  They were really excited to see them in person! I wish them all the best as they settle into life in Cam Bay.

I just looked back on my old blog Newbie in the North where I wrote about some of those experiences from my early days.  Now this isn’t a three year anniversary of me living in the north.  It’s actually an 18month one!  As most of you know I had an 18month gap living in Winnipeg from January 2010 to June 2011.  I honestly can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I’ve lived in Toronto and  lived in the same province as my family and friends. Honestly the past 3 years have gone by in a blink of an eye…

I’m excited to see what happens next in this adventure I like to call my life!

Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Wednesday I flew from Yellowknife, NWT via Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut!  It was a clear but crisp day, perfect for landing.  

I stayed in the ‘Green Row’… if you ever visit Cambridge Bay, stay here and you won’t be disappointed. It was the best sleep I’ve ever had while traveling for work- the pillows, duvet and bed were so comfy!  It was so great to get such a good night’s sleep while travelling.  

Shadow photos are so much fun. This one I took while walking home for dinner.  (Work bag in the front…hood up to block the wind…Camara bag in the back, with camera strap hanging down low… makes for a fun photo!)
Here’s a look at some of the random signs… Cambridge Bay has a pedestrian crossing in front of the schools!

Earlier in the week Cambridge Bay had gotten a lot of snow…and then the wind blew even more snow into town. There were some pretty impressive snow drifts in front of buildings!

The first time I heard about someone moving up to Nunavut to live was Anne and that was about 7 years ago. Who is Anne? let me explain a bit. Anne’s mum lived with my mum’s family, while she was finishing high school…and my mum has always thought of her as a big sister.  I have some crazy memories of visiting Anne’s family farm one easter when my brothers had a hockey tournament near there!  When I was in my university I worked a crazy job every spring in a whole-sale-garden-bedding-plants place…for two years I stayed with Anne’s parents while I was working there!  Anne was the one that introduced me to Pride and Prejudice and the BBC version which created my love for Jane Austin.  When Anne moved to Cambridge Bay I remember doing some research and thought to myself–I so want to go visit her there!  Fast-forward to 2012…it happened!

Last night after my meetings I headed over to her house… to catch up and visit!  She introduced me to another AMAZING show.  “Downton Abbey” have you heard about it? We only had time to watch the first hour of part 1, season 1…I’ve heard a bit of about this series, but it doesn’t show on my cable package.  I’m thinking a little online-shopping might be in order!  (Don’t worry mum I’ll get you one of Season 1 too!)


…while on the way to the airport today,  Anne drove me around town and I took a few photos of the views around Cambridge Bay.  The top one… you can hardly see it…but Mt. Pelly is in the background… (follow the power line…it is the white shape along that line in the photo.) The next photo is a view looking towards the Bay… and finally a view at the Bay…
After checking in to the airport…Anne and I drove up to the well as the maintenance base for the area DEW Line sites.  The ‘golf’ balls are pretty ginormous…

Anne it was great to see you again..and glad I got to have a quick visit in Cambridge Bay…let’s not let another 6 years go by until we see each other again!

Walkin’ in the Sunshine in Yellowknife

Today my flight was cancelled…after  taking care of some business stuff…early afternoon I headed out to explore Yellowknife, as it was my first visit! It was a nice and sunny day here in Yellowknife.  I think the temperature was between -17/-20C…it felt so nice and warm walking in the sun compared to the temps I’ve experiencing in Pang!   It was a pretty awesome day. I met and talked to so many different people, everyone was extremely friendly…and helpful!  I left my hotel and walked along a lake path to the visitor’s centre! It was so nice to walk amongst the trees…they are something I miss so much when I’m home in Nunavut!

After talking to a very helpful guy at the Visitors Centre…I headed off on foot to Old Town.  I wanted to see the Snow Castle built by the SnowKing.  This is the 17th Snow Castle that has been built in YK.  I wasn’t sure what to expect…I had NEVER been to a snow castle before, but as I approached I knew I was NOT going to be disappointed! 

…pretty impressive!  The windows are made out of ice blocks that were gathered/cut starting in November…and stored until the was enough snow to start making the castle.  In January and February the castle starts to take form, and is sculpted and made ready for opening the 1st of March.  

I took a walk around the outside of the castle… there was a slide built for kids…looking pretty fun! 

I entered the snow Castle, paid my money and marvelled at the inside…it was so cool! (well actually it was quite warm…in temperature that is!) As I was walking around the inside… I came across the SnowKing himself… Of course I embarrassed myself, when I asked him..”Did you help make the castle?” He looked at me and laughed and replied something like I am the Snow King!  I laughed and told him how cool it was…then continued on to explore and take more photos.  

I took so many photos of the interior of the castle…was so glad that I put my wide-angle lens back in my camera bag!  I’m going to share just a few of them with you here…

Right now there is an Art Exhibit on display…its a collection of photos from Girish Nayer.  The group of photos were taken in India…it was really neat to see the colourful photos on the crisp white background.  

After walking around a bit more… I came across another man who was working on the windows of the castle.  He was using a hair dryer to try to melt a bit of the ice to make it go clear…it was an experiment! (but the outside of the ice was still pretty foggy-so not really having the desired results!) We started talking…this is his 7th or 8th castle he has worked on with the Snow King.  I’m horrible at remembering names…we did exchange them..but I promptly forgot it! During our conversation he answered some of my questions about the process of how the castle is built.  There is basic ‘building’ pieces–that hold the outhouses, electrical room–for lights, and sound… after those are placed… then forms are put up… there’s an ‘inside’ form and outside… then snow is packed in the form with a big loader!  (that’s why in some of my photos you might see wood marks on the  on the roof or walls!) The ice blocks for the windows are placed on snow blocks…in the right places… then metal rods help find them later when the carving happens.  (I’m sure there is MUCH more to the process…but that’s the story I got!)

Near the end of our conversation, I mentioned that I grew up in Ontario…he was like where? I replied, “…Haliburton” (Often people don’t know where it is)..he smiled and said he grew up in Peterborough.  His mum grew up in Haliburton…who probably was 4-5 years ahead of my mum in school!  Small world we live in eh?

Just as I was leaving I took this series of timer-self-portraits… 

I walked along the ice road to head to the Pilot’s Monument.  It’s one of the look-out areas in Old Town that gives a good view of Yellowknife.  (I tired a few times to stitch together a bunch of my shots to create a panoramic view..but that will wait for another time!)

While I was up there… a float plane (with skis) took off… that was pretty neat to watch! 

It was great to see a bit of Yellowknife!

March Photo A Day Challenge: Days 6-11

This month I’ve joined the March-Photo-A-Day-Challenge hosted by Fat Mum Slim!  Click on the link to see my photos for Days 1 to 5.  It was a busy week, but here are my last week’s photos…

Day 6: 5pm…

(well a few minutes after 5pm…)

Day 7: Something you wore…

Day 8: Window…

Day 9: Red…

(one of my fav places to work…miss you RRC ECE peeps!)

Day 10: Loud…

(*taken on the 11th when I was flying…good thing I brought my ear plugs!)

Day 11: Someone I talked to today…

(*taken a few weeks ago, but saw Nicole at the airport!)

This week looks just as crazy… I’m on the road for work, leaving the Eastern Arctic and heading to the far-far-Western Arctic!  Should be a great time…I’ve never been to the Western Arctic…but hear that it’s way colder on the west side,  and potential for blizzards and weather delays for flights greatly increases!  But that’s just part of the adventure of travelling in the Arctic!

Spring Ahead Randomness…

Today the clocks sprung forward… I was actually pretty excited for the extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day we will get.  (Although our days are increasing and soon we will have almost full 24hour sunlight!).  Other than the excess light, the temps have remained between -25 and -30C (dipping colder with wind-chills if you are out walking around!) I’m getting a wee bit jealous of people talking bout spring temps in the south…but am excited with the extra daylight hours!

Last week was pretty crazy in a good way…and now I’m travelling for work again… as I write this I’m in a hotel in Iqaluit.  I’m reminded of how this hotel is so not sound proof: footsteps above me (that sound like a herd of elephants walking on my head), water pipes running as people shower… and the voices in the hall! But being a hotel has been nice to do some ‘updates’ for my computer that I’ve needed!

Last week a friend was in Pang, before she left her daughter drew a mini-picture of herself and sent it with her mum.  I took some photos of my friend holding her daughter’s self-portrait and then I wanted to get a photo with me holding ‘mini-Laura’.

I’ll probably be blogging as I travel, but not 100% sure of internet access.  Tomorrow night I head south-west after a brief stop-over, then head further west, to Yellowknife, NWT.

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