Friday, July 11, 2008

off the grid

mom and dad picked me up early to make my 6:15 flight to inuvik. i was tired and my anxiety level was high, but i realized that i might never do this if i backed out now. considering i have been thinking about this for almost a whole year, it is absolutely pathetic how poorly prepared i am - physically and mentally, as well as logistically.
waiting in line to check in at the airport a lady ran into my heel with her cart. it hurt and started to bleed. i am not exactly a morning person and this didn't help my mood.
flight made two stops - edmonton and norman wells - before reaching inuvik. it occurred to me that i dont think i've ever been north of edmonton. the landscape sure changes as you move north. very pretty around norman wells and up to inuvik.
arrived at the inuvik airport. tiny little thing. the only smaller airport i've been to was that one in chile that was heated by a pot belly stove. this place is pretty isolated.
to my surprise, kyle (the guy that is going to take me to tuktoyaktuk tonight) had hooked me up with a ride in to town. one of his friends was picking up another buddy there and agreed to pick me up along the way. it was a little thing, but really turned around my attitude about this trip. listening to them catch up on local drama, ultimate fighting championships and stuff like that.
i was dropped off at kyles office, which is also a tourist office, a local telephone office and a tanning salon. i put my bike together and packed my gear and tested it out as people walked in and out for their tanning sessions. even though there is 24 hours of daylight right now, this seems to be a good business. i chatted a bit with josh, a local pilot from nova scotia that moved up here in january for work. crystal joined after her lunch break. she's from las vegas. interesting mix of people here.
i walked around town and picked up some supplies. i was hit by some candy thrown by a man who dressed as a fish and was walking behind a slow moving fire truck that was blaring its siren. turns out it is oceans day and i was just in time for the parade. it looked as though the whole community got involved - decorating cars and boats and dressing up in accordance with the aquatic theme of the parade. the road was not closed for the parade, which made for a bit of mayhem as they threw candy to the kids, who then dashed out into the middle of the road to grab it.
today is also the first day of the great norther arts festival, which means there are a lot of native artists in town and there should be an opportunity to see some cool stuff once the festivities kick off.
tonight we boat to tuktoyaktuk in kyle's new boat. it just arrived yesterday. i'll be the first 'customer' to go on a boat tour with him as he's just starting up the business, but there seems to be a larger group that is going as well. we'll camp at the beach up there. i'll see how it goes, but this is the sort of thing that you cant pay for - a chance to hang out with locals on the shore of the arctic ocean.
i do not have cell phone or email access up here. i'm using kyle's computer. not sure when i will be in touch again, but will post as soon as i have internet access again.


Blogger Emma said...

Tori, you probably lead the most interesting life of anyone I know. Just so you know.

July 12, 2008 at 3:38:00 AM MDT  
Blogger BikingBakke said...

I'm envious of your tales of the north. As you've noticed along the way, you didn't get any input from me on your trip, other than your bike questions. Half the entertainment value for me is just seeing where you guide yourself.

July 12, 2008 at 11:30:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Dallas said...

cool. A buddy of mine hitchhiked up to there a few years ago. He didn't make it to Tuk of course, as he didn't have a kiyak. But he camped out at Mckenzie River Delta and spent a few days taking photos.

Enjoy your visit!....before the Oil company's get in there.

July 13, 2008 at 7:58:00 AM MDT  
Blogger tori said...

emma - that's really, really nice of you to say. sometimes people give me funny looks when i tell them about my ideal holidays, so it's nice to hear from someone that thinks it sounds interesting.

e - i appreciate that you never tell me how to go about my vacations, though you'd be surprised how much influence you have on them. i'm trying to do all of the things that seem interesting to me, rather than watching others do them. you have been instrumental in helping me realize that i can do that.

thanks dali.

July 31, 2008 at 1:22:00 PM MDT  

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