Northern exposure.

After the last few days of my 100 weeks journey, I finally headed for my new home. On 6th July I flew from New York up into Ontario in Canada. The flight was delayed a little, and I just made my onward connection. From Ontario I flew west across Canada to Vancouver, and then finally north from there to Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory.

The journey was over 12 hours, and for me it was the equivalent of 3am the next morning, but it was only midnight in Whitehorse when Moe picked me up at the airport. She lives about 50 kilometres out of town, and I was surprised to see how light it still was when we drove out of town.

I have been here almost five days now, and have been trying to settle into a completely new lifestyle. Many things a are a little different here! Because we are so far north, in summer the daylight seems endless. Today, for example, 11th July 2010, sunrise was at 4.50am, and tonight sunset is at 11.21pm. That’s an eighteen and-a-half-hour day! And it is still light for a while at either side of those times, and isn’t ever really fully dark.

However, the winter, of course, is the opposite way around, and when I was here in December 2008, the days were only about four or five hours long.

Moe’s cabin is off the grid, and the only connection she has is a phone line. Propane gas bottles provide fuel for the cooker, and run the gas fridge too. There is a generator to provide power, and it can be run for an hour or two at a time. This is used to charge a couple of large 12 volt batteries, which then provide power via an inverter. This can last for two or three hours, depending on how many things are running off the batteries. The internet connection runs off this system, so is only available when the generator is on, or the batteries have charge.

There is no running water, and all water supplies have to be brought in in plastic tubs on the back of the pickup truck. I have had to learn to be very careful with water use. Showers are available at the swimming pool in town 50 km away, so a “bath” involves sitting in a small bowl of water on the kitchen floor!

It’s a bit of a chellenge, but I am slowly adapting to Moe’s lifestyle. She seems to have endless energy for all the work involved, and as well as the normal day-to-day chores, she also manages to feed and water her twenty sled-dogs, and fit in three days of work a week in town too.

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On the days she isn’t at work, her kids Finn and Maible stay with her, and this weekend we went camping in the wilderness. This involved taking a quad with us in the back of the pick-up, and an incredible amount of gear. I was happy to take the fully loaded quad up a rough track into the hills and set up camp overlooking a beautiful valley.

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Moe’s neighbour Deb, and her son Chris came along too, and the family dog Zoli made up the numbers.

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It is very much like Colorado, but a little cooler, and instead of the mountains and trails being busy, we hardly see anouther soul out here.

I have only had a little time to myself in the cabin over the past few days, and have managed to catch up on the last few 100goals tasks. I have now managed to clear the decks, and Moe is back to work tomorrow, so it’s full steam ahead with the book now!

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