Ain't so bad
Sometimes I think my new Yukon life is really boring. Like Friday night when the big event is going to one of husband’s hockey games and by the time we get back and he showers it’s “late” (read: 10:00) so we read and go to bed. C’mon, that’s pretty lame. Or even worse are the Saturday nights when he’s working overnight and has thus taken the truck with him and it’s just me, the puppy and the kitty on the couch for a CSI marathon. Par-tay!!
But then other times, when I do a little inventory of all the cool things I’ve done, I realize this is all part of a wicked adventure. I’ll be smug, but I mean hey--this is the Yukon. By virtue of even being North of 60, my life is not boring. When I can survive two weeks of pillaging, -45 cold weather, freezing my damn hands off just to get the mail, I can call that something of an adventure. Right? To remind myself (mostly) of what this crazy Yukon journey’s all about, especially before I move to an insanely remote community north of here, (called Ross River) I have compiled a list of fun things I have done in Whitehorse:
(in no ranking order)
1. Hiking up a MOUNTAIN. Not the Gatineau Hills, not the toboganning slope, but a mountain. Grey Mountain, which overlooks downtown Whitehorse. We drove up to the peak the night we got our pickup truck. That was terrifying for *someone* and super exciting to me. I loved looking out the window, over the steep, narrow edges. He nearly cried as our back tires spun out while the truck was angled up about 45 degrees. The next day we hiked it. I drank actual spring water, like, from a spring, that tasted SO good. Eff Evian man, that stuff was mint!
2. Interviewing Sam Roberts. Pseudo-superstar, at least in Canadian rock star terms. That’s as close to a true celebrity as I’ve come (well wait, does Sam Roberts trump Paul Martin?). He was actually a nice guy, maybe trying to let me know he wasn’t an a-hole. He had a small frame, a demure speaking voice and was actually quite informed about the Yukon, so he got some points there.
3. Tobogganing in a desert on Boxing Day. So when this part of the world was covered in glaciers, one started to move, and scraped the ground, and created a big sandy desert up here about a 45 minute drive away from Whitehorse. Snow covers the sand in winter and voila: presto change-o, we have a toboggan hill! I learned how to drive the Skidoos that shuttled us up to the tops of the massive slopes and had crunchy sand bits in my teeth when I went to sleep that night.
4. Speaking of Christmastime, I got to be the voice of the North on a Palm Springs radio Station on Christmas Eve. They called our paper looking for a ‘Santa Watch Correspondent’. I gave them the low-down: Our armed forces were ready to protect Santa, everything was on schedule and initial sightings of his sleigh had been made. That day, I felt like a celebrity, at least to the eager kiddies in Palm Springs.
5. Sitting at a campfire in our new friends’ backyard, passing around a bottle of butterscotch schnapps, everyone taking a swig. Roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over the fire, snuggling close to keep warm. Looking behind me, over my left shoulder, and seeing the sky light up with dancing green northern lights for the first time.
6. Turning a corner on our usual hiking path behind our house, to take a route we hadn’t tried before, and finding a Secret Garden of a winter walking trail. Soft, powder snow sat on tree branches bent over from snow’s weight to form a tunnel, a continuing archway over our walking path. It was so beautiful, a scene that I hope will stay locked in my brain forever.
I guess there are more things, on a smaller notch of the adventure scale, but that’s the list I have come up with for now. Want to come live up here with me?? Tell your friends, the Yukon’s not so scary bad.
Of course, I can say that now that it’s a balmy -2 outside and once again the grocery store’s produce section has things for sale.