"I Don’t Like You Either…" Down by the River.
Work took me to the Madawaska River for some water rescue training. Six full days by a river, rigging up ropes and rescue systems to haul people and boats across raging rapids was a lot of fun. There were five of us down there, and we all got a chance to try a stand-up paddle board (SUP), or as I liked to call it - (SNP) swimming next to a paddle board… It was actually fairly easy and intuitive to get used to on a flat body of water, it’s just that we were on a set of rapids for the most part, so standing up was tricky (for me as a beginner). We rafted and kayaked down the river and flipped on purpose to practice self-rescue techniques. At the end of each day we were cold, wet and exhausted – but we got to sleep in a cabin in the forest by a river… With birds and squirrels, wind and rain!
Most of Ontario is a forest, and it is always wonderful to be in amongst the trees. The Big T.O.
From trees to concrete…
Back in Toronto, I was in awe at the scale of Canada’s biggest city! Massive skyscrapers reach to the clouds and steal the sun. Multilane streets form complex grids with overpasses and intersections, traffic lights and signs. This is visual overload!
From the top of the colossal CN Tower, the city sprawled to the horizon – I was looking towards the north, trying to see the end of Canada and the end of the world – but it was beyond what I could see… But it is there – somewhere? Somewhere?
Four-and-a-half hours on a plane took me from Toronto to Edmonton - then two hours more took me to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Then I waited due to the next flight being cancelled because of weather… The Knife
Yellowknife is a nice place to be stuck in though – and by the time I arrived at a hotel, I had met up with my five colleagues. Yellowknife is a northern town, and with about 28,000 people, it is the only place of any size in an otherwise empty territory - we even had temps of over 20 degrees Celsius – very warm for
these latitudes in June!
I also kept running into people I knew… I randomly encountered four former acquaintances as I wandered the streets of the territorial capital.
We checked out the YK nightlife at the infamous Black Knight watering hole. If ever a dodgy character were to be found – this would be the place! I thought of the Mos Eisley Cantina on the first Star Wars movie - where the customers don’t like you, and we don’t like you either! It was somewhat civilized though as we sipped away at Yellowknife’s locally brewed ales, although we did leave before midnight - that’s when the trouble starts – apparently? Plane is Leaving.
After four days in Yellowknife, we were told that we could head to the airport and board the plane to Resolute Bay, a two-and-a-half hour flight over vast tracts of frozen tundra. A clear sky gave us magnificent views of the frozen Northwest Passage and the barren wastes of Nunavut Territory.
We touched down at the ramshackle airport and we were greeted with the slogan “Welcome to Resolute, it’s not the end of the world but you can see it from here”.
Resolute wasn’t even our final destination.
We boarded a Twin Otter and flew the 50 miles across Parry Channel and landed on a gravel strip by the Cunningham River… We waded across the narrow river and started to open up the camp…
Arctic Watch Lodge on Somerset Island… My home for the summer…
And although it isn’t quite the end of the Canada, it is beyond the 74th
parallel. Only 600 miles from Canada’s northernmost edge…
Cornelius Evazan. “He doesn’t like you.”
Luke Skywalker. “I’m sorry”.
Cornelius Evazan. “I don’t like you either. You just watch yourself. We’re wanted men. I have the death sentence on twelve systems.”
Luke Skywalker. “I’ll be careful.”
Cornelius Evazan. “You’ll be dead.”
Classic George Lucas dialogue…
Worth noting: Nobody had their arms severed by a lightsaber whilst conversing at the Black Knight Bar...
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