Sunday, August 11, 2013

How about the North West Territories?

Here's a funny little story for your Sunday afternoon...

We moved again. If you're surprised, let me assure you, we were too. We were under the impression that Katie would be in Kugluktuk for work for a decently substantial amount of time. A week after we landed she got a phone call and she was offered the managers position in Ulukhaktok. Of course, she took the job. She's been waiting for this for as long as I've known her. 

Ulukhaktok Airport - one of the smallest I've been in

I booked my one way ticket to this lovely town, set to fly out exactly a week after her call. When I fly out of here it will need to be on some sort of seat sale.... the flight from Kugluktuk to here, one way, cost me almost $900. 

My selfie with the Welcome to Ulukhaktok sign

I can feel Katie's excitement. After even more years of travelling than I've done, she feels like she can finally settle. It's strange to think of settling so far North, so detached from the world. Up here there is no cell phone service, we can only use black berry messenger by enabling WiFi on our phones. Really though, who still uses bbm? I have a solid one hand full of friends who I can keep in touch with that way. I'm starting to think it may not be worth my $72 a month cell phone bill. 

I spent the whole day yesterday trying to get my blog page to load so I could share that we have re-located yet again. It didn't work and I feel lucky to have written this one. On top of no cell phones, limited internet (no computers or i pads half the time {we may need to get a second modem}) we also have no home phone. Katie is waiting for her managers house to be ready for move in, which could take up to a month, before setting up her land line. 

I enjoy roughing it, technologically speaking, but it's strange not to communicate with my family who may not all be aware that I have disappeared again. 

The old, unused Catholic church
The original store

When we landed here on the 25th (the first time) we spent about forty minutes on lay-over. The weather was over-cast and gloomy, we couldn't see much from the airport. I thought this town was too sandy looking for me. Now that we are here, and have been going on three days, I see the bright side of this place. Wow'ed instantly by the views from inside of the town, I am sold. We are surrounded by three Bays, Queens Bay, Jacks Bay and Kings Bay. It is a short drive (or a long walk) to a fresh water lake and a river that serves as the local swimming hole. 

The fresh water river between the town and the airport, where people swim

The town is greener than I thought but is still mainly made up of rock that has a rust color to it. The mountains around us are much different than the ones I loved so much in Qikiqtarjuaq. They remind me of the Grand Canyon in the way that they are colored and the slope of the rock faces, though they are not nearly as vivid.  

The people here are wonderful, kind and welcoming people. Everyone I walk past on the streets stops to talk and ask me my name. Every stranger we meet when Katie and I are together also asks, "are one of you the new manager?" It seems that news travels exceptionally quickly here in this town of less than 500. 

So, as readers of this arctic travelers blog, 'Welcome to Ulukhaktok,' or, as many of the locals have said, 'Welcome to Ulu.'

With love, for the first time from the North West Territories own, Ulukhaktok. (Does this mean I need to change the name of my blog?) 


-N- said...

I love Ulukhaktok, I've worked there a couple of times, once back in the mid-1990's, and a short contract again in 2007 or thereabouts. Great community, nice people, and beautiful landscape.

Melody Harding said...

Love you sweets - wish I could come visit...someday I hope I can! :)