Pictures from the Northern treasure chest!
For two weeks in April we all got together in Inuvik, Northwest Territories for a family gathering. A great chance to visit Greg at home, meet many of his friends, and see the country he likes so much. It was a wonderful trip and included exciting things; like driving on the winter ice-roads, camping in a winter camp, snowmobiling and dog-sledding.
April in the Arctic!
We arrived just in time for the Annual Muskrat Festival. It started with a huge feast that included all sorts of Northern foods - from Caribou to Muskrat. The festival continued for three days with all sorts of races and events, most of which took place on the frozen river. Bannock making and tea boiling, are contests that probably only happen in the north but the competition is still very fierce.
After the party, Jan and I decided to spend some quiet time at a friends winter camp. A big thank you to the Fehr family! It is a short trip by snowmobile from Inuvik across a portion of the Mackenzie delta. Sometimes we were driving on sections of the river or lakes and sometimes there is a "portage" between the river and lakes.
We had a couple of interesting experiences on the trip to and from the camp. We got into a "ground storm" where the snow was blowing at ground level and it was hard to see straight ahead and there was absolutely no definition to tell if you were going up, down or into bumps or holes in the snow.
The second interesting thing was to get into an "overflow". On the snowmobile the snow looks normal but under the snow water has been seeping through the ice. The water on top of the ice can be a few feet deep. So when we hit these overflows our snowmobile became a poorly performing boat. Even at full power it was sluggish, unsteerable and wanted to sink. We were on a big bend in the River when we hit our first overflow, and it took a while to figure out how to make the snowmobile go where we wanted it to go - drive it like a boat - Jan and I both leaned over as far as we could (shoulders nearly touching the surface) and with the machine nearly on its side we slowly got it to turn and go where we wanted...
The camp itself was a wonderful spot. Two tents are set up on a point overlooking the River with all the Northern amenities one could need in a winter camp. We had a nice rest and would have liked to stay much longer.
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