Monday, July 14, 2008


I checked out the Great Northern Arts Festival today. The quality of the art was spectacular. I wanted everything in there. paintings, beadwork, jewelry, knives, carvings, clothing - it covered the spectrum. In addition to art from the northern territories, there was art from Vancouver Island.

I grabbed coffee at the local coffee shop. It opens at noon and is self serve. I thought it was a good example of how things operate here. Many of the stores are open until midnight. I think it is just part of the lifestyle here.

Walking around town, I noticed that there were shortcuts to get just about everywhere. This was made possible by the above ground sewage and water system, beside which there was typically an informal foot-beaten path. I suppose in the winter, when it gets really cold, walking an extra block to get around a property line moves from being polite to being stupid.

The hotel that I'm staying at is owned by a really friendly couple, Judy and Olav. Olav is from Norway. Judy guides sledding tours and breeds dogs - beautiful, well-tempered and well-trained dogs with white fur and blue eyes. She gave me a tour of the kennel, which has 30 dogs, including 4 puppies that are six weeks old. The puppies were just learning to bark and sounded more like birds than dogs.

Olav and Judy rode the Dempster on their bicycles with their teenaged sons almost 20 years ago. They gave me some helpful tips about surviving the ride, which I will start tomorrow. Looks like the weather should be good to start. I'm nervous, but I think it will be fine. I just need to get riding already!


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