Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Date: February 15, 2006
Weather: -5°C and Sunny
Sunrise: 10:16
Sunset: 18:02

I have been watching the Olympics on TV for the last few days and I have to say that I don’t find the event as interesting as I have in the past. I think it may have something to do with the venue. For some reason I think of Italy as a hot place, a place that would do a fine job of hosting the summer Olympics. Now, I know the geography, and I know that parts of Italy rival parts of Canada in terms of its “winterness”, but for the most part, it is a warm country. Being busy and not really having the time to invest in watching a lot may also have something to do with it. As may Canada’s performance in this, the 20th Olympiad.

I believe (and always have) that Canada does not invest in its athletes – at least no where as near as much as other countries. Don’t get me wrong, I think Canadian athletes are great natural competitors, it’s just that the number of fourth place finishes shows the lack of commitment that the country has to its Olympic hopefuls. There’s only so much the athletes can do on their own.

So much for the opinionated political diatribe…

This is the 100th post on TraveLogInuvik, and it is the last. There will be no more posts here. More that 2100 of you have read these posts and joined us on our adventures of getting here, and of being here. You, the reader are from more than 20 countries and every continent on the planet except Antarctica. But unfortunately “TraveLog” no longer describes the content. But take heart, kind reader, I will continue to post in a new Blog called InuvikJournal.

You can find it at this address:

I hope you will find this new blog as interesting and as stimulating as the last one, and I hope you will add the address to your favourites list.

Catch you on the flip side...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Date: February 14, 2006
Weather: -8°C and Clear
Sunrise: 10:21
Sunset: 17:57

This is Valentine’s Day, northern style! We didn’t spend piles of cash on each other, buying things we didn’t need or didn’t want. We didn’t make the folks at Visa happy at all in fact. We just stayed in, made dinner and had a quite evening to ourselves. We saved some money and had lots of fun too. Truth be known, I was too afraid to see the price of flowers to bother doing any traditional Valentine’s Day shopping anyway!

Those of you who know Lorie are well aware of her likes and dislikes. One of the likes, loves actually, is definitely diet cream soda. I don’t know why really - the stuff tastes awful to me – but she loves it. Well someone told her yesterday that there was somewhere in town that you could get this dreadful stuff, and it’s all I’ve heard since. Sure enough immediately after work she was off on a quest – the quest to find diet cream soda.

She came home twenty minutes later with a broad smile and a triumphant shout that “I’ll be damned, I got it! Inuvik’s not that bad of a place if you can find diet cream soda!” I tend to agree with her – albeit for entirely different reasons.

I’m not so sure about the diet cream soda thing, but people here sure do like their coffee – and strong and black at that. I come from a culture of tea drinkers, but there is something alluring with strong black coffee – especially in this place where extremes seem to prevail. Try driving 400 kilometers on ice and you’ll be happy that your buddy sitting next to you brought a thermos of strong black!

Ironically another friend 11,000 kilometers from here has set me on a journey to find a coffee maker that grinds and brews all in one. And for someone like me, for whom efficiency is of the utmost importance, that’s a bonus! I’ll bet it means great quality coffee too. My friend told me that she drinks more coffee because of the high quality product that this thing produces. I’m not sure that’s a good thing…well okay that’s probably a good thing.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Date: February 13, 2006
Weather: -12°C and Clear
Sunrise: 10:25
Sunset: 17:53

The temperatures are really up, far above normal. It’s the talk of the town; you can hardly meet anyone without having a talk about the warm weather. There is a forecast for plus two degrees for Thursday. It’s likely that forecast will change before we get to Thursday, but it is still really intriguing to see that forecast in February for a place above the Arctic Circle. All in all, it’s great snowmobiling and ice fishing weather.

Speaking of that, I am kind of in the market for a decent snowmobile. They are pretty expensive here (as you would expect). I could go into the Northern store and buy a $10,000 machine and finance the payments, but I’d prefer not to do that right now. I think I’ll wait until I have enough money saved in my “snow fund”. That’s the name I have on my savings account. Typically I use the cash to buy winter recreation items and equipment – hence the name snow fund. I just need to let it get a bit bigger before I move on getting a new snowmobile. Maybe by late next fall I will have enough to buy a new one, and another second hand machine. That way Lorie and I will both have one for next winter. Cant’ wait!


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Date: February 12, 2006
Weather: -12°C and Clear
Sunrise: 10:29
Sunset: 17:49

Wow it sure was bright today! The sun is getting longer and longer every day now, but it doesn’t seem to be getting much higher. I guess that will come eventually. Already I can see the advantages. I’m not used to having good winter weather like this…and sun too…that was simply too much to ask back home.

Once we get set up here I can see the possibilities; fishing and hunting galore. I’m already a bit disappointed that it hasn’t happened yet – but it will.

I never thought I would miss fish this much. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it is basically impossible to get decent fish here…well codfish at least. You can get lots of char and trout, but no one fishes it this time of year - too cold they say. A good cods head stew would be pretty good right now, and some fried cods tongues too. Mmmmm!

I’ve always kind of scoffed at expatiate Newfoundlanders who waxed poetic on missing some things from home. I guess I kind of understand now. A decent whiff of salt air would be nice too!


Date: February 11, 2006
Weather: -9°C and Clear
Sunrise: 10:34
Sunset: 17:45

Aside from work, the only interesting thing that happened today was a birthday party for a friend. It was a surprise party and his diversion was a snowmobile trip. He was kept busy snowmobiling, and then he had his party. Sounds like a good deal to me!

Speaking of that, I can’t wait till I get my own machine. It has been just about a year since I’ve had a decent snowmobile trip now, and the withdrawal symptoms are getting a bit difficult to live with, especially with all the machines buzzing about town all the time. It was pretty painful having to sell my machine back home. All in good time, I suppose. Problem is I have never been great in the patience department!


Friday, February 10, 2006

Date: February 10, 2006
Weather: -12°C and Partly Cloudy
Sunrise: 10:38
Sunset: 17:41

Today might be the end of the normal work week but I will likely have to get some things done tomorrow. I won’t have to get up quite as early though. Today was another day with lots of work, so hopefully I’ll get some time to relax.

The sun is really bright today and it is almost getting time to break out the sunglasses.

There’s a German road rally group in town. They are driving German SUV’s and the purpose of their visit is to test a new type of tire. Lots of different companies do cold weather testing here; although lately there haven’t been the cold temperatures that they are used to.

If I wasn’t so busy for work, I would search them out and interview one of them for my blog, but I am far too busy these days.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Date: February 9, 2006
Weather: -11°C and Clear
Sunrise: 10:42
Sunset: 17:36

Work is very busy lately and unfortunately I don’t have much time to keep the blog as up to date as I'd like. As well the long hours at work have precluded me from doing much that’s worth writing about.

After I get over this work hump, I will have to do a few things to relax…and for me that means having fun in the snow, which means things to write about.

It’s getting lighter these days too so there should be more picture opportunities.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Date: February 8, 2006
Weather: -12°C and Clear
Sunrise: 10:47
Sunset: 17:31

Ok, absolutely the temperature has dropped a little, but it is still very reasonable for the time of year and the location; more than reasonable actually. Most folks here are pretty happy about the reprieve from the horrors of forty below. Others, however, are concerned. Cold temperatures are a way of life here, and I suppose, in a way they give life.

Most of the culture here is based upon survival in the Arctic and the resources it has to offer. The moose and the caribou, and the many other species of animal that live here, and give sustenance to the people, depend on a cold environment, a stable cold environment. Wild fluctuations in temperature like this can lead to problems. Ice melts early, game animal migration patterns change abruptly, flora changes (which affects fauna), and fish find it hard to survive.

I suppose it’s a bit egotistical of me to relate all these changes to the effects they have on humans, but fair is fair. In all likelihood, we created a situation where these changes are occurring, and now we are suffering for it. Check that - the folks who are suffering are not necessarily the ones who caused it – but then I’m talking globally here.

The sun is burning brightly for almost six hours now. Every ten days we pick up another hour or so. So by the end of March we should be up to half a day of sunlight – not bad for above the Arctic Circle!


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