I’ve lived in Yellowknife for four years this September. I still don’t know how I feel about it. I describe my relationship with this city as a love/hate kinda thing. I can’t wait to leave, to experience something new and unfamiliar and I am so lucky that we have a lifestyle that affords us frequent trips to our closest cities (Calgary or Edmonton, each a one hour and forty minute flight away.)
It’s become a bit of a sport telling family and friends back home what its like living up here. They all seem to want to compare the weather, to know what sort of stores we have and can’t believe that anyone would choose, what they believe is, an isolated life.
Below are some pics that will give everyone an idea of what life is like here. I’m doing it this way because I think people might be interested in seeing what life in Northern Canada is like…. but also, because, I’m too chicken to explore how I really feel about this place.
This isn’t the most flattering picture, I know. This is a few years back and my friends are standing on the foundation of our, in-the-process-of-being-built, home. I wanted to use this picture because it shows one of my favourite parts of living here. LIGHT. This is probably around 1am in June.
This is my husband goofing around on the ice road. (not sky diving as it might appear). In the winter some trips are shorter from point A to B, because we can drive across a number of frozen lakes. You may have seen some documentation of 18 wheelers doing this on a show called Ice Road Truckers. It takes place in Yellowknife (as does Ice Pilots and some of Arctic Air.)
The two main industries in Yellowknife are Mining (as of late, diamonds, previously gold) and Government (federal and territorial). I’d venture a guess that the third industry is aviation. There are a lot of ‘outfits’ here in town that will fly you and your equipment out to mine sites, hunting lodges, etc that are not accessible by land. This picture is actually of a Fundraiser for the Special Olympics. Teams compete to pull the herc. a certain distance in the fastest amount of time. (for those that watch Ice Pilots, they fly hercs. on that show.)
Ah, yes, the snow castle. Every year around Christmas the Snow King…. I don’t know this man by any other name, will begin to build a large ice castle. When it is done (March 1st, every year) it houses art shows, concerts, weddings, etc. Local artists will carve pretty patterns into the walls or create ice sculptures. This is an homage to the Snow King himself and my friend, apparently, loves him!
One of my favourite times of the year, is September. That’s when Northern Cranberries are ready to pick. They grow close to the ground, are often mistaken for bear berries and honestly you have to do a lot of scouting and picking to get any amount worth baking with, but this is one of the last times we get outside before winter sets in late October.
This one of my favourite things to see in winter. It’s called Hoar frost. I’m not sure how it gets there…. I think things must warm up enough for the snow to melt a bit and then it freezes to something in between snow and ice…. but it’s like each tree has been crystallized.
This is a beautiful summer day. My husband is looking out over the lake outside of our house. This view (and the house) is one of the reasons I’d hate to leave this city.