It’s hard to believe but here I am in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Even better … I am close to Tuktoyuktuk. I taught Canadian geography for many years, sharing the arctic with students but never having actually been here. How lucky am I?? It takes seven hours north from Calgary through Edmonton, Yellowknife and Norman Wells to get here. Its as far or farther than Hawaii is west and Toronto is east of Calgary.

I am on the MacKenzie River near the Arctic Ocean. It’s another pinch me moment. The temperature is hovering around minus thirty. I am grateful for my new parka and long johns. The taxi driver who brought me from the airport was a great ambassador for the town. He’s been here twenty years. He says I should come back in the summer of course but that there is a laid back atmosphere that is comfortable for him. He is not interesting to returning to a city where people are always in a rush.

I can’t help but compare the people I have seen here with the wonderful people I work with in the Virgin Islands. These people are wearing more clothes but they are happy and relaxed and family oriented. The people in the restaurant last night were talking about everyday things that they accomplish in these extreme weather conditions.

Today I will get out and see more of the town when the sun comes up. Its 9 ish now and just starting to get light. More tomorrow.

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