Sunday, July 13, 2008

tuktoyaktuk trip part 2

after waking up, i toured the camp kitchen, which was rustic, but surprisingly well furnished. you could comfortably live out here for a while i think. funny observations in the kitchen included a teenage mutant ninja turtle figurine and labels on the cupboard unit - someone had taken the time to make labels that said 'cups n shit', 'utensils n shit', etc. awesome.

we boated up to tuktoyaktuk, which was about a half hour away. along the way we saw beluga whales. we also saw some pingos, which look like volcanos sort of, but are actually mounds of permafrost formed by hydrostatic pressure. they grow over time with the freezing and thawing that occurs as the seasons change.

in tuk, one of the locals gave us an outstanding tour of the town, including a visit to a local carver and a tour of the community freezer. the latter sounds like it would not be incredibly interesting, but it was the unexpected highlight. dug 30 feet below the permafrost, there is a system of storage rooms for community members to store their meat. i had never realized what permafrost looked like, but we got to see a fairly extensive cross section of the stuff as we descended down into the freezer. its basically dirty ice, not the frosty soil that i had somehow envisioned. i now have a much deeper appreciation for the challenges of building up here. the freezer has been around for about 70 years. that this place even exists is beyond belief. i am totally amazed.

on the way back we stopped at a somewhat random beach and hiked up a hill for a great view of the delta. there were wolf prints along the shore. i would have figured they were bear prints based on the size and depth. must have been one big wolf! we did some target practice. i'm not big on guns, but i am sort of intrigued now.

we arrived back in inuvik after midnight and i checked in to my hotel, which was a dog mushers lodge just out of town. i decided that i would not start my cycling trip the next morning. although this would now put me 2 days behind my initially envisioned departure time, i was looking forward to sleeping in and to checking out inuvik and the great northern arts festival the next morning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

when we saw each other last it was an adventurous day of trying to keep up with our favourite IMC competitors. your trip seems much cooler to follow. sorry kyle. but, where are you going? i looked at the road (is there only one?) that heads south. i assume that is the one you're taking.
safe travels,

July 18, 2008 at 6:27:00 PM MDT  
Blogger tori said...

hi cate!
yes, there's only one road that heads south from inuvik (in the summer, anyway). the legendary dempster highway.

July 31, 2008 at 12:48:00 PM MDT  

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