A trip inside a trip inside another trip.
That was my last two weeks.
The ball started by heading out to Edmonton for two weeks for job training with WestJet. I’m loving my job so much that I’ve decided to embark on a new position that has a bit more of a technical asset to it and will challenge my brain a bit more! Needless to say, training was pretty extensive and made for some long days. I didn’t get to see any of Edmonton, but did get to explore a tiny bit of Leduc, and of course, spent most of my free time in the hotel gym.
Now I had been wanting to see the Aurora Borealis for a while so what better time to fly up North then when I’m already out West (half a country closer than I normally am).
Cue the weekend trip.
Since I fly standby, this can always be stressful and looking at flight loads I opted to spend a quick 24 hours in Yellowknife, then hop down to Calgary for the following 24 hours, and back to Edmonton in time to show up fairly tired for training on Monday morning.
I met up with a university friend who lives in Yellowknife and with both of us running on minimal sleep we jammed a heck of a lot of activity into one day.
We started off by going up to a monument that overlooks the ‘city’ of Yellowknife in all of its frozen glory. This is where I first noticed that the moisture in my hair had now frozen and I looked like I had aged 60 years. We hopped back in the car and took a drive through some of the community and out onto the ice roads. The roads make for easier connections between smaller communities in the winter and people also use them as a quicker way of walking certain places. It was pretty amazing to drive on the ice and to stop and actually look at the thick cracked ice that you were driving over. Shannon also instructed me to remove my seat belt as we drove onto the lake for safety in case your car falls through the ice.. just take a minute to think about how terrifying that would be.
After our drive we threw on our snow pants and started a small little trek to find some natural ice caves. We walked out on the ice around the edge of the lake, past a small fenced in graveyard, and through some small trees to find the beautiful caves. Nature sure is crazy in the things that it can do!
We actually ended up in a bit of sweat after the walk, too many layers, even though the temp was -35°C. We took a break for lunch and drove around a bit more of Yellowknife.
Before long we headed back out into the cold to visit the Snow King Festival that happened to be taking place while I was there. While nature has some crazy things, the things people can do are also pretty wild, as demonstrated in a few photos.
After thinking my hands were actually going to fall off from the cold we drove out to go dog-sledding where the wind had actually died down and made for a beautifully warm trek on top of yet another frozen lake. Definitely one of those things you have to do at least once in your life. The dogs were hilarious to watch, and it was super relaxing and quiet out there by ourselves.
Last but not least was the journey to find the Northern Lights. We had a few hours to kill before it got dark so we found some more ice roads to drive around on, and almost get stuck on, and then went to one of the local breweries for dinner and a sampling of the local beer.
Once it was dark enough we began our hilarious journey of driving around to various locations that Shannon knew were good to see the lights. We finally spotted them and got a pretty good show. Its one of those things that’s very hard to explain and almost feels like your eyes are just playing tricks on you (or aliens are invading..) Very beautiful though, and now that I’ve heard of it, its a goal to also see the Southern Lights.
Thus concludes my trip to Yellowknife. I hate winter, but I think I could actually get used to living there and enjoying some weird and wonderful winter traditions (including having to plug in your car whenever its parked for a long period of time so that it will actually start again)
The next morning I hopped on a plane to Calgary and spent a lazy day with my sister and her family. Have I mentioned that her kids (and also Steve) are crazy. Just have minds of their own. The day consisted mostly of watching Harlow eat everything in sight and watching Roman build hilarious Lego creations out of only the legs of Lego people.
After another plane ride I was back in Edmonton and ready to fall into bed as soon as I returned to my hotel room. Quick trips can be quite exhausting.