Category Archives: walk in the ‘hood

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!

An Afternoon on the Fiord…

…today I headed out onto the fiord to do some X-Country Skiing. I think the last time I did any x-country skiing was when I was in high school on the ski team in grade 10. Yep it’s been a few years!  After a phone call from friends…I got bundled up in a few layers…and grabbed my ski gear and headed to the fiord.  After all I bought these skis from someone leaving Pang in August… so I best be using them!!!!

Here’s a view from the fiord… I love that the moon was rising over the hills…and it was around 2pm when I took this shot!

I met up with Markus and Delia who were skijoring…just as I was leaving the harbour and almost on the other side of the pack ice.

Everything became quite frosty!  

Markus and Sola in action… 

As you can see.. the sun is setting on the fiord! Markus, Sola and Pepi(the little dog) look back at Delia and Akulik. The next photo is Delia and Akulik in action!

Me in action… I think at this point my legs were screaming at me…but all in all it’s was a great feeling!

Just wanted to say thanks for the emails and comments on my last post. Each one meant a lot!  Thank you. This last photo is of me once I reached home after about an hour and 1/2 out in the -22C weather.  I was a tad bit frosty… but still toasty warm under my layers!

Can’t wait to do it again… although next time I’m duct taping my heels hopefully that will stop the crazy blisters from forming! What did you get up to this weekend?

Climbing Mt. Duval…

When I lived in Pang in 2009 I climbed Mt. Duval three times…(you can read/see photos from those times  HERE, HERE and HERE!) Yesterday, I climbed it again with Nick, Morena and her dad.  It was a great climb, glad I did it in the end because the view from the top is worth it!   I’m glad that Morena’s dad came this week and not any later in the season, because there’s definitely snow at the top of Duval right now and it’s just going to get deeper!

My feet near the top of Mt. Duval… and a view of Mt. Duval from the bottom!

Starting on our way up… because of the temperature…the tundra was pretty solid…which made it a bit easier to walk on!

Shots from along the way… yesterday was Day 1 of my photography challenge–so took a few ‘self’ portraits on the way up the mountain…(I’ll blog about those on Monday!) Now I just need to decide which one I like the best…

And then we hit the snow… at this point it wasn’t that deep, later in patches it was up to our knees! Close to the top..we started to see patches of BLUE skies coming through the clouds! One of the things I realized that if you need a break in climbing up–you can always ‘stop’ to take a photo… but then again, because I hung back at the back of our group… I did manage to get some fun shots of everyone as they climbed up! It took us 3 hours..but we all finally reached the top!  The view was SO WORTH it!! A bit cloudy, but you there was still an awesome view–of Pang to the left and the Pass to the right!  We warmed up with some Hot Chocolate, snacks–took a few photos and then decided to hightail it down again–because it was darn cold up there!
Morena took the next photo of me, thanks!   (the one below was another ‘self-portrait’…) …some frosty, snow bits on the side of a rock… We made it down the mountain in an hour and half…it always quicker on the way down eh? We did head down a different way… and got to navigate through some rocks… that was fun!

Morena thanks for inviting me to climb.. I had a blast!

Picking Blueberries…

I shared the first part of this adventure climbing the hill HERE.  Coming down the hill behind town this past Saturday my friend and I stopped to pick some berries.  Thankfully my friend brought an extra ziplock baggie, (I forgot one)…it was fun to just to chill and pick me some berries!

some people sit or squat to pick berries.. and I did do that..but sometimes, I just like to lay down on the hill and pick away! (probably not the most productive way to do it…but I’m ok with the amount of berries I got!) Set the timer up on my camera to take a few shots… (this is probably why I didn’t get as many berries as some ‘expert’ pickers out there!..)

(And my friend took the photo above of me…. once we were picking closer together…)

I am in love with the fall colours on the tundra–so pretty!!!

Mmmm mmmm Berries!!! 🙂 

Ok.. so I did get MORE than this… but didn’t end up taking a photo… just took one after the first few berries!!
It was the perfect end to the day… I’ve been sick the last few days, so haven’t done anything with the berries yet..but have some plans, you’ll have to stay tuned for those!

Hiking to the top…

This morning, I set an alarm and got out of bed early for a Saturday… those who know me know this isn’t a normal Saturday Morning Ritual.Today I hiked up to the top of the hill behind town–with the cross on the top!  I’m totally thankful that my friend convinced me of starting up the hike early!  I hadn’t hiked up the hill when I lived here in 2009.. so was excited to do it… we started off on our way just after 8:30am!  The sun was starting to peak out and there was blue skies (but this didn’t last for our whole trip!).


Walking on tundra is such a fun feeling…it’s so spongy, squishy…and nothing else is like it! It also adds another physical element when you walk up it!  Here’s the a picture from the other day of the hill… you can’t see the cross in this one…but it’s up there! –there was no snow, except for a few small patches stuck around rocks… My friend and I stopped a few times… to take in the view and just talk!  (when your walk consists of you going up, up, and more up… you need to take a breather once and while!)

Then we saw the cross… (at times with the rocks, we couldn’t find it and had to continue on). At different points on the walk… I had to take some self-portraits…always a fun thing! We got to watch the First Air flight land, and then take off again… it’s always amazing watching the plane land!

The Cross kept getting closer… (at some points, I was like… I think i’m high enough… I don’t really need to get to the top–but then I’d keep on plugging and walking!) 
Finally at the top…. it was so worth the view–and I’m glad to have made it!  As you can see the tide was low… 

A shot of my house… I currently live in the townhouse with the RED roof–I’m in the 2nd unit from the right–with the DARK grey front!  I had to add to my ‘cheesy’ photos from travelling… I could put together quite an album of photos of crazy faces in front of awesome views/historical sites… Makes more fun memories!
Those feet took me to the top of the mountain… (now I say ‘top’ but really it’s the top that you can see from town, but is a false summit–not the actual top of the mountain!)… but it’s as high as I got and I’m ok with that.