Our Excellent Yellowknife Adventure #yzf

So, up we went to Yellowknife (Northwest Territories, Canada), Graeme Gibson and self, en route to Kugluktuk, where we were supposed to join the Clipper Adventurer (ship) and Adventure Canada (group) http://www.adventurecanada.com on a Northwest Passage journey. But:

Our ship hit an uncharted rock

It made the boat to list so,

We had to stay in Yellowknife

And eat at Bullock’s Bistro.

(Old Sea Chanty.)

Luckily we had a plucky group: they read the “No Sniveling” sign at Bullock’s (pictured) and made use of it, as well as the last Dene Law (pictured), though we all saved “I Brake for Ptarmigan” for another day. The Yellowknifers were very friendly, and in the Black Knight pub (the NWT is riddled with knights) I learned what a B52 Shooter was, as Richard and his table sent one over. The Wildcat and Bullocks are both in Heritage Buildings, made with Ye Olde Knightly Logges in the days of distant yore. You find this out after drinking the Shooter.

Yellowknife was showing at its best, with many Land of the Almost Midnight Sun flowers in bloom (pictured) and the spectacular Great Slave Lake looking gorgeous.  Our group vowed to take another crack at the NW Passage next year. Meanwhile we had many an in-depth chat, about Animal Tracking and its relationship to reading (James C. Halfpenny, http://www.tracknature.com, and I bought “Scats and Tracks of North America,” ultra useful when you find a mysterious something on you porch); and Scottish history and/or  folklore (Lizanne and Ted Cowan); and Mark and Carolyn Mallory (Fulmars, seabirds, Arctic wildflowers), who turned into Our Fearless Leaders, never having filled that position before.

My last adventure of the trip — apart from getting jumped by the CBC as we were sadly but not snivellingly checking in at the airport on our homeward leg — was that I got locked into my trousers because the clicky thing on my Adventurous Pants broke. But nail scissors were not invented by the Black Knights of Yellowknife for nothing, and it took but several instants of thought (“This may be a case for ‘Scats and Tracks of North America’… no, there must be another way”) before I was liberated from the sinsister fabric predicament.

Thank you, Yellowknife #yzf, and especially Ariel at Overlanders, and Richard (who also sent over 5 Mimosas, once he realized that I had poured the B52 into the rum and coke and passed the curdled but lethal mixture  around my table in a Bonding Ritual), and all the Merrie Groupe!! Including Murray the stranded New Zealander, who is having coffee in our kitchen even as I write… And congratulations to Adventure Canada staff, who worked through the nights, fought the Airline Booking dragons, and got everyone sorted out!

On the flight out, we had a spectacular view not only of Great Slave Lake, but also of the land south of it — looked like muskeg, with squiggly rivers and many (probably) kettle bogs, in deep blue, ochre green, copper orange… wonderful.

Next year we’ll take another run at it. Brace yourself, Yellowknife. We’ll be baaack…

See Ship & Rock Story at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/cruise-ship-exploring-northwest-passage-runs-aground/article1689257/?service=email.

7 Comments

Filed under 1, YOTF Tour Blog

7 responses to “Our Excellent Yellowknife Adventure #yzf

  1. sebazzel

    Wonderful!

  2. Thanks for your acceptance and understanding of the realities of the North.. very glad you seemed to have enjoyed your impromptu stay in Yellowknife.

  3. Totally delighted that you were up here! ummm… would it be too much to hope for that Yellowknife (Bullocks?) could be part of a novel sometime? There is precedent, you know😉 #MordecaiRichler

  4. Shawna

    I remember when you had an adventure to Frobisher Bay in 1987 or 1988…Glad you found yourself in Yellowknife and had a good time.

    Shawna who had supper with you all those years ago!

  5. I was a good friend of Carolyn Mallory back when I lived in Iqaluit. It’s too bad I’ve lost touch, I didn’t know she was here in Yellowknife. I’d love to have caught up with her again.

    I’m glad you enjoyed your quick tour of Yellowknife and that you’ll be back this way again. By way of an informal invitation, we do have an annual writer’s festival (Northwords) that we’d love you to be part of! (http://www.northwordsfestival.ca/NorthWords_Writers_Festival/Home.html)

  6. linda in chicago

    See any good birds?

  7. FYI: Was the Clipper Adventurer cruising into liability land?:
    http://titiraqti.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/was-the-clipper-adventurer-cruising-into-liability-land/

    “…But recent press releases issued by the University of New Brunswick on behalf of the university’s Ocean Mapping Group cast serious doubt on the company’s credibility.

    Contrary to what was reported in the media and by shipping company officials over the weekend, the location and depth of the shoal was already known. The Canadian Coast Guard issued a notice to shipping in 2007 for the grounding location, which states:

    A102/07 – WESTERN ARCTIC – CORONATION GULF – SEPTEMBER 16, 2007
    WESTERN ARCTIC
    A SHOAL WAS DISCOVERED BETWEEN THE LAWSON
    ISLANDS AND THE HOME ISLANDS IN THE SOUTHERN
    CORONATION GULF IN POSITION 67 58.25’N 112
    40.39’W. CHARTED DEPTH IN AREA 29 METERS.
    LEAST DEPTH FOUND 3.3 METERS. ISOLATED ROCK.
    REFER TO NAD83 DATUM.

    This company charged its wide-eyed punters between $5,795 and $14,395 a head for berths on its “Into the Northwest Passage” cruise, which offered two weeks of immersion within the kind of neo-Romantic Arctic fantasy that certain elements of English Canada’s nationalist intelligentsia have nurtured for decades. Unfortunately, that fantasy never really migrated much further than a few blocks north of the Annex district.

    But Adventure Canada’s apparent success reveals this vision still appeals to the moneyed leisure classes. The company’s promotional materials are festooned with logos from “partners” such as Toronto Life, the Royal Ontario Museum, Quill and Quire, The Walrus Foundation, and the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. And the company also sells access to a variety of celebrities, real and pseudo, such as Margaret Atwood, Graeme Gibson, Ken McCoogan, Ian Tamblyn, Sheila Rogers and Nathan Rogers.

    But I digress. And now that I’ve got the ad hominem sarcasm out of my system, let me ask the biggest question contained within the UNB’s press release.

    Why did the master of the Clipper Adventurer not know about the known hazard into which he steered his ship?…”

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