Dog sledding in Yellowknife

Today I went dog sledding with Sharon, Kim, and Shane in Yellowknife! My parents thought it would be a fun northern experience for us, and they were right, it was awesome! Both Kim and I had been dog sledding when we were younger and still living in Inuvik, but I don’t really remember it too well.

Dog Sledding

Beck’s Kennels, run by Grant Beck, currently has over 130 sled dogs and offers a variety of tours. Grant himself is an accomplished dog musher who has won a number of races and other competitions over the years, in North America, the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps, and the Pyrenees in Spain. The dogs are Alaskan Huskies, which look a bit different than the Siberian Huskies you’re probably thinking of. We learned that Siberian Huskies, due to breeding patterns over the years, don’t make the best racing dogs though they are good for hauling things!

Dog SleddingDog Sledding

We went on the Northern Outdoor tour, which lasted roughly two hours:

Head out to our traditional Trapper’s tent next to a secluded lake where you will enjoy hot drinks  and cookies around a crackling woodstove. Drive your own sled team there or just sit back and relax. Experience the thrill of driving a snow machine, and zip around the lake before heading back.

The first step was to dress appropriately! We wore our warmest clothes to the kennels, but ended up changing or putting on more clothes inside. They had parkas, boots, mittens, and all sorts of winter gear for guests to wear. All of us put on a pair of ski pants, and somehow, Shane and I ended up with pink mittens. We were warm though!

Mack & SharonKim & Shane

On the way out to the Trapper’s tent, Shane and I drove while Sharon and Kim sat. We swapped positions on the way back, so each of us got to drive the sled. Though “drive” isn’t really accurate – the dogs knew exactly where to go and didn’t really need any direction from us! Our only job was to step on the brake when instructed to do so by the tour guides who drove snowmobiles.

Dog SleddingSharon

When we got to the Trapper’s tent, we were pretty cold, and were glad to find a wood-burning stove inside. We also had cookies, hot chocolate, and signed the guest book! The cabin had a couple of bunk beds, for overnight guests. After getting warmed up, we headed back outside to drive back to the kennels. Our route back seemed a little less sheltered, and thus much windier and colder!

Dog SleddingDog Sledding

Thanks Mom and Dad for a great gift! I had a ton of fun today! You can see more photos here.

Which color do you like?

My parents are getting a new vehicle in the next month or so, and I think I have convinced them that the 2007 Honda CR-V is the way to go. They liked the Pilot, but it’s a little bigger and a little worse on gas. Anyway, they are trying to decide on colors, so how about some help? Which of these do you like:

  
  

They are: Royal Blue Pearl, Glacier Blue, Tea Green, Nighthawk Black Pearl & Whistler Silver, Tango Red, and Borrego Beige. You can see a few more photos here.

I like the Borrego Beige, Glacier Blue, and Tea Green myself.

I realize the photos look kind of desolate (the weather kinda sucked in Edmonton today) but let’s be honest, my parents live in Yellowknife – it’s like that all the time! Heh, just kidding, it can be a very nice place, as you can see here. Just think how sharp a CR-V would look in that shot!

So, which do you like?

Read: 2007 CR-V Photos

Twelve Hours to Inuvik

Tom and I left Edmonton at 10 AM yesterday morning, as scheduled. We got to the airport relatively early, watched the sports news while we waited, and everything was going good. When we gave the people at the gate our boarding passes, we were told that our flight was “green stickered” for Inuvik, which meant that we were landing subject to weather. The last time my Mom flew, she had the same thing happen. In fifteen years of flying to and from Inuvik, I don’t ever recall a plane not being able to land.

We arrived in Yellowknife on time, the only stop between Edmonton and Inuvik, and we had to get off the plane. Tom seemed to think that was weird, saying usually we’re allowed to stay on the plane while they add some cargo and take some off, and get any new passengers. So we got off the plane, and it wasn’t very long before we were informed that our flight had been canceled due to poor weather in Inuvik. They told us the runway was in poor condition, and it was extremely foggy. Then we found out we’d be able to fly out of Yellowknife at 9:45 PM, almost 8 hours after we should have landed in Inuvik.

So Tom and I spent from noon yesterday until around 10:15 PM when the flight finally left in the Yellowknife airport, some pictures of which are here. You might think that’s not so bad, but with no Internet, only a few power outlets, no coffee shops or restaurants except for one that is mostly a bar, and absolutely no TV’s, people, or anything really, it was kind of dumb. Tom played FIFA 06 on his laptop while I tracked down open network ports and tried to get online. Throughout our time in the airport, we started to find out more and more about our canceled flight, from other people who came and went, and from my parents on the phone.

We were on First Air, and the other airline that flys to Inuvik is Canadian North. We found out that Canadian North landed in Inuvik at 2:30 PM, and hour later than scheduled, but only 15 minutes after our flight was supposed to land. So clearly, weather in Inuvik was not an issue. After we got to Inuvik at midnight, it became clear that First Air knew all along we wouldn’t be landing in the afternoon, and the weather excuse was exactly that, an excuse. Needless to say, I was not amused.

Anyway, I am in Inuvik now, finally. I don’t remember it being so dry here, but I keep shocking myself everywhere! There is so much snow it’s insane. Not as cold as it could be, but still cold. I haven’t really been anywhere in town yet, but already I have seen so much different. Lots of new hotels for the pipeline project. In fact, there are about 350 hotels room in a town of only 3000 people – insanity. More later!