Four months ago, Phil and I sat pouring over maps of Canada. We had a plan, of sorts. We were going to the frozen north, to seek fame, fortune and adventure amongst the remote landscapes of the Northwest Territories. It was all Boys Own stuff. We were excited. We had months of planning ahead…
…That was four months ago. In two weeks time we fly into Calgary! Our plans have been honed to perfection…and shredded.
We were originally going to be spending some time in Calgary, but Phil has decided that sleep is for wimps. So, instead, we will begin by driving into the Rockies for the first three days. We’re thinking, birthday drinks besides the shores of Lake Louise – mountains, alpine lakes, glaciers and a Labatts…it doesn’t get much more Canadian than that! I have been reading up on bear safety in readiness, just in case. The fundamental rules would seem to involve not approaching them, not feeding them and staying calm. It also says don’t run, but I’m betting on being able to out-run Phil in the worst case scenario!
Our plans for Yellowknife remain equally fluid (both regarding our itinerary and our intake of Labatts). We are planning to meet up with the coastguard at some point and then drive west, along the edge of the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary, to the bustling town of Fort Providence (pop: 759). The town lies in the eastern corner of the ‘Dehcho Drivable Wilderness’, which extends from the southwestern corner of the Great Slave Lake all the way into the Yukon. I like the idea of a ‘Drivable Wilderness’, it offers up a heady mix of comfort and calamity. I just hope one of us remembers to keep a watch on the fuel gauge.
One of our original ideas was to try to meet up with the local Dene First Nations people in Dettah, a township just on the outskirts of Yellowknife. This is still very much part of our overall plan, but the idea had always been to drive to it. Looking at a map the other day though, we realised that it is only about six kilometres across the Great Slave Lake as the raven flies (ravens being very prolific in Yellowknife)…We could kayak that.
No, really, we could…I mean, what could possibly go wrong…
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