Monthly Archives: December 2006

Aklavik dog sled race

I had the pleasure of seeing a dog sled race in Aklavik on December 26, during the brief hour-or-so of reflected sunlight which arrives at mid-day.

It was quite exciting, and it’s clear those dogs born to run. They have to be restrained so they don’t leap out of the trucks and start racing!To my surprise (though I suppose it should have been expected) I found the dogs to be very hyped up and aggressive; they fought with each other, barked constantly, and seemed to struggle against their chains. However, once the musher gave the signal, they all ran in unison, with 32 legs scrambling against the ice road.On boxing day, about 40-50 people came out to watch the races, and I was not the only person who made the two-hour drive via ice road from Inuvik.One last note: As you can also see from the picture, it’s pretty clear one dog sustained an eye injury. Was this caused by a fight? A cold chain whipping during the race? Is it an eye infection? I don’t know.

Inuvik drinking establishments, pt.1


Frosty’s Arctic Pub opens at 11am and closes at 2am. It’s about 20 metres from the office and 80 metres from my house, so it’s a pretty convenient place to get a beer.

It also wins the award for “seediest parking lot.”

[HISTORICAL NOTE: Frosty’s was later closed.]

Arctic cat


There is no pet store in Inuvik, but I have seen cats, fish, birds and even a lizard.

How do people get them up here? By plane, I suppose.

You forgot my prefecture!


Here’s a strange fact: The gigantic website MySpace.com, which is used by milions of people, does not recognize the NWT though it recognizes Nunavut and the Yukon.

It’s blockbuster season!


Here’s an example of prices here, and a funny anecdote about movies. Since there’s no movie theatre in Inuvik, everyone is looking to rent Pirates of the Carribean 2, and all those big summer pictures people down south have been talking about.

As you can see, it’s expensive to buy movies though rentals are $5 or less.

Tsiigehtchic’s "home store"


Tsiigehtchic is a small hamlet of about 150 people. The only store there is “Num-Nums,” which is a dry-goods store run out of someone’s living room. The only sign is a computer-printed piece of paper on the door.

Since the closest grocery store is about an hour away, in Fort McPherson — and since Tsiigehtchic is isolated for about 4-6 weeks twice a year, as the ice road freezes or melts — it’s really an invaluable service.

You can even rent videos!

Road to Aklavik


Here’s the truck on the ice road to Aklavik, which is a 2-hour drive away from Inuvik. This photo was taken shortly before noon, and I’ve increased the brightness in Photoshop so you can see something.

A quiet drive, to be sure.