Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Day 5 of the 12 Days of Yukon

This is the day where things really started to get fun.  

We packed the trailer up, again, dropped it off at the RV place to store and we hit the road.  An hour into the drive husband says, “why don’t we just fly to Tuk?”.  This statement was equivalent to tasting chocolate for the first time.  How on earth did we not think of this earlier??

I tell husband this is the best idea he’s ever had and then say, “how about you make the arrangements?”.  Mostly because I had spent three hours booking hotels and making lists the previous day and I’m a little bit peeved about having to cancel all these arrangements.  

I start skimming through one of the many travel guides we have in the truck and come across a place, Arctic Chalet, that says it does flights to Tuk. There was another company listed as well.  Husband makes a call to Arctic Chalet and speaks to Judi.  Husband is talking, actually getting talked to by Judi.  As he’s talking I try to interrupt and say, “ask her if she’s in Inuvik”.  He gives me the hand.  I say this again.  He gives me the hand again.  I’m sure you know the gesture I’m talking about.  I interpret it as “I got this.”  Then husband is asked where we’re staying and asks me.  I rattle off the name of a place that I thought was in Dawson City, but it was actually an Inuvik hotel.  This did not help.  Husband is still talking to Judi, but now they’re talking about flying to Herschel Island.  If she can get a few more people we could go tomorrow.  We’re having that sort of conversation that I dislike, the one where the person on the phone is just giving you bits of what’s being discussed.

Husband asks me if I’m cool with going to Herschel and I say sure.  He gives her our credit card number and says to Judi, “see you tonight.”  We think we’re flying to Herschel Island – from Dawson City.  

We continue driving to Dawson City.  A few red flags are apparent from this conversation:  

  1. husband did say we were driving in today from Whitehorse.  Judi should’ve done the math, there’s no way you can drive to Inuvik from Whitehorse in 6 hours.  More like 20-22 hours. 
  2. Husband did not confirm where the Arctic Chalet was located (arctic is a bit of a hint), he assumed it was in Dawson City.   
  3. He was told the flight to Herschel Island was only 1 hour.  Looking at the map, I was astonished as to how fast one could get to Herschel Island from Dawson City (it’s far far away from Dawson City) on a twin otter.

Husband called one other place that said they flew to Tuk and left a message as no one answered the phone.  I made a call to a listed Dawson City tour operator and asked about flights to Tuk, she told me catch a Yukon Air flight to Inuvik and talk to Randy at some air line. Another red flag.  For the rest of the drive we had ourselves convinced it was going to be super easy to fly from Dawson City to Tuk or Herschel Island.  I chose to ignore the red flags and the little nagging voice.  

The perfect distraction along the way was a little lodge/campground called Moose Creek Lodge.  They sold cool stuff and had homemade tarts: butter tarts, blueberry tarts, raspberry tarts and strawberry tarts.  I bought six and ate 4 before we even got to Dawson City (the only thing I’m good at pacing at is 100m lengths in the pool). If I ever finish the 12 days, I should write a post on how to lose 6lbs in 3 weeks with a running injury.

The weather was pretty nice too

We get to Dawson City and I pull into the information centre (I’m driving at this point).  We go in and I find the first staff person who will make eye contact with me.  The first thing I ask her is,  “where is the Arctic Chalet?”.  She says, “Inuvik”.  I look at husband and say, “I TOLD YOU!”.  The lady at the info centre burst out laughing.  I leave the centre very fast as I’m pretty livid.  All I’m thinking is why didn’t he ask what town the Arctic Chalet was located in.  I tell him to call and cancel our flight.  For some reason I’m pretty paranoid Judi is going to take my credit card number and make a lot of personal purchases with it.  Husband calls Judi back and explains he thought she was in Dawson City and cancels all our flights.  We get into the truck and drive to the hotel (basically just around the block). 

We get all our crap unloaded and wander around a bit.  Dawson City is pretty cool.  Very historic.  We eventually go for dinner and I have arctic char again.  By this time we can laugh (sort of) about what happened, although I’m still feeling superior and  thinking that if I had made the call, I would’ve known the Arctic Chalet is in Inuvik.  Because I would have asked!

You can go here if you’ve forgotten the previous day.


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12 Days of Yukon – The Prequel

Greetings after a long absence!

This post is the prequel to even more posts (to follow later) about my summer adventures while travelling in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.  But first, I need to set things up for you so you know how it all began.

About 22 months ago I decided I wanted to take some time away from work.  My employer has a “Deferred Salary Program”.  They deduct 10-35% of your salary each pay cheque and after X number of months you have saved up enough to take 6 to 12 months off while receiving full pay.  I went for it.  Well, it wasn’t as simple as “I went for it”, but I’m trying to keep the word count manageable.

It took me 1 year and 7 months of deductions to save enough to take 6 months off work starting June 1.  What’s kind of significant about this date is that it’s the month before I turn half a century.  It’s also the same time that Kobi, my intrepid wing-girl, turns half a century in dog years.  We will be 50 together for 3 months of Kobi’s life.  How cool is that.

During the last three months of work I was doing some loose planning about things I’d like to do while off.  Mostly I just wanted to not work, which really seemed to surprise people when they asked what my plans were.  You see, I’ve never really liked “working”, but because I like wearing Arc’teryx clothes and insist on driving a Jeep (yes, I drive a Jeep because cool outdoorsy people drive Jeeps), I need an income to support these habits.  I’d love it if I could get paid tons of money to showcase my average running skills with my epically cool Rez dog, but unfortunately being average doesn’t draw the attention of high paying sponsorships.  I’m also not particularly entrepreneurial or highly driven so I’ve never landed a job that didn’t feel like work.  I do have a job that I like so I’m not going to complain, besides, they let you take this much time off and still have a job when you come back!

I’ve digressed.  Besides planning on doing whatever I felt like (after waking up WITHOUT an alarm), I thought maybe a trip to the arctic would be cool.  I told my arctic plan to my partner (who didn’t even have a passport at the time and who I will refer to as Mr X from here on in) and he said that sounded cool and he’d like to go with me.  I was somewhat relieved as I figured it would be me and Kobi sleeping in a tent and occasionally getting a motel.  The thought of sleeping in a tent is fine and dandy, if it remains a thought.  When you’re 50, sleeping in a tent is a sleepless painful night of moving from your back, to left side, to stomach, to right side and back onto your back every 5 minutes as there is no air mattress that can offer comfort to an oldish, somewhat arthritic body.  Don’t even get me going if it should happen to rain.  

I’ve digressed again.  Now that Mr X was on board, we decided a travel trailer was the way to go.  Nothing big, just something practical with a toilet.  A toilet was mandatory.  Pooping in an outhouse is something that has lost it’s appeal – can’t say that has ever been appealing.  Mr X spent weeks researching and we landed on a 16.5’ Forest River, No Boundaries.  It looks outdoorsy and the Jeep could tow it.  

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I thought Kobi would love the trailer

10 days before the planned departure date, the Jeep went to the shop for some minor tweaks for the big trip and sure enough they discovered the entire rear end needed replacing.  That took 9 days to fix and cost a quarter of what the trailer cost.  Off to a good start.  With one day remaining before the big departure, we got the Jeep back and noticed the Jeep didn’t have the right towing electrical plug thingy that would fit the trailer. Plan B, take the one ton dodge diesel.

What you may not be aware of, thanks to my blogging delinquency, is that Kobi has developed some pretty significant travel anxiety.  If you follow me on Instagram (@outdoorrunning) you may be aware of Kobi’s anxiety.  It all started last August, I won’t bore you with the details of the circumstances that led up to it, that’s another blog (or two).  As a result of her anxiety and because my amazing dog sitter/cat sitter/garden waterer was available, Kobi stayed home.  

Now you are all up to date on the events that lead up to the start of the arctic adventure. Stay tuned for the next 12 posts about the actual trip to the Yukon (and NWT). Looking back, I honestly didn’t know travelling could be this “exciting”.

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Kobi says, “no way am I going with you on this trip human.”