Tag Archives: Northwest Territories

Chilling in YK

Wednesday night I headed out for dinner with a friend who has been traveling with me.  As we walked by the YK Centre we saw that it was -29C.  But it felt so much colder than that…when I got back to the hotel I looked up the weather online…saw that it was indeed -29C but with the windchill it was -41C.  So I suppose that’s why the 3 block walk from the hotel to the restaurant and back to the hotel again, felt so cold!

I honestly hope I get to visit this awesome city sometime in the summer. After all, this is my 2nd visit to YK...and a gal should visit every city in each season eh? Yellowknife at Night  7

As I was walking…I stopped briefly…to snap a few photos.  It was so cold…but my fingers worked with the help of my mittens…but I could only manage a few shots before my camera battery died froze! (this is part of the reason the photos are a bit out of focus…as my camera wasn’t happy to be working in such cold temps!) Yellowknife at Night  1Yellowknife at Night  5

Just before walking into the hotel I snapped these selfies!  Have to love frost covered lashes and coats!
Yellowknife at Night  8

My time in Yellowknife has flown by so fast. Thursday night I was lucky to meet up with some really good friends that moved here in the summer.  It was great to have dinner, catch up with conversation and watch a 3-D movie.  Thanks for the short, but awesome visit!

When this post is published I’ll be on my way back to Iqaluit.  Looking forward to going home, but that won’t be for another week…meetings in IQ next week!  All I can say is thank goodness for an amazing house sitter to take care of my house in Pang when I’m away.  It’s awesome that I don’t have to worry about the pipes freezing, my plants not getting watered…and they have the opportunity to enjoy living in some peace and quiet! 🙂

Question of the Day…

Why did the Ptarmigan hang out on the side of the road?  Yellowknife side of the road

…because it was their home? Or maybe because they had no where else to go?Yellowknife side of the road 2

…or maybe it was too bloody cold to do anything else!

Yellowknife side of the road 3

That’s my news from Yellowknife, NWT!  I was excited to see these Ptarmigan sitting on the side of the road the other day while I was on a driving tour of Yellowknife.  It’s been really cold all week here… the other night with the windchill it hit -50C! Thank goodness for long johns and warm parkas!

Dene Hand Games…

Today Daisy and I drove to Behchoko to see the finals of the Dene Hand Games.

“The Hand Games were played years ago as a form of gambling among friends and different groups. Often the games were played to gamble for bullets, furs, dogs, toboggans, or stick matches. Today, however, the Hand Game is played in cultural centres, community carnivals and other events all over the Dene country as a friendly competition fostering community pride. The Hand Game is based on a simple concept of hiding and guessing of objects using elaborate hand signals and gestures to both find the object and hide the object.” www.denegames.ca

I wasn’t really sure what I was going to experience…I really wished this morning I had done some googling to find out more about rules to the games.  But Daisy was able to tell me the basic rules…and then by watching I was able to learn a bit more.  Then when I got back to Yellowknife, I found this awesome video from Alex and Luke on their visit to the Hand Games last year!

Take some time to watch it… because it really captures the games with the amazing drumming the way photos just can’t!  Alex and Luke also explain the basic rules to the games in their video.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGLjBqLOPcE]

So here are some of my photos from the day… it was PACKED!  Daisy and I stood for almost 3 hours before we got places to sit… it was such an awesome experience, I feel so honoured to be able to have had this experience.

In the top photo you can see a game taking place… and the bottom one–setting up for the next match, the mats where players and drummers kneel!

Here are some shots of the players hiding their tokens! 

There are tons of spectators… from the young to the old!  Everyone was keen to see which teams would advance to the finals!

The drumming was amazing…it was hard to stand still…makes your body want to move! The little drummer in the photos…kept going up and getting a spare drum to play on, sometimes having it taken from him.  Usually this was when a player that had their token guessed wanted to drum to encourage the remaining players! But the little drummer would wait until he could get his hands on another drum!

It was so amazing to see different generations playing this game…how the teams were mixed, and the passion and excitement was so powerful! 

Just because I always like a little bit of B&W…here’s a few for you to see… 

It was such an awesome day…thanks again Daisy for taking me!  It’s an experience I will never forget…

Here are a few road signs from our trip back to Yellowknife… it was about an hour’s drive.  

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!

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